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John Nieto-Phillips and Thomas R. Conner Join SAR Board of Directors

Aug 8, 2019

The School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is pleased to welcome two new members to its board of directors: John Nieto-Phillips, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and associate professor of history and Latino studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and Thomas R. Conner, former trial attorney and founder of TIRR Foundation and Mission Connect, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of those living with paralysis or traumatic brain injuries.
SAR’s president, Michael F. Brown, describes these additions to the board as evidence of SAR’s ongoing commitment to recruiting directors who bring the widest possible range of life experiences and professional accomplishments to the organization’s leadership team. “Both John and Tom are highly regarded in their professional worlds,” Brown says, “and their diverse backgrounds and fresh thinking will help the SAR board guide the institution into the future.”


John Nieto-Phillips is an associate professor of history and Latino studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He currently serves as the university’s vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. Nieto-Phillips brings to SAR his dedication to opening academic institutions to underrepresented communities. Since its inception, his office has helped Indiana University develop anti-bias hiring workshops for faculty who serve on hiring committees, among other accomplishments. As a professor, Nieto-Phillips explores how ideas about race, language, and culture have shaped the experience of Latinos in the United States and particularly in New Mexico.

Nieto-Phillips received his BA, MA, and PhD (all in history) from the University of California, Los Angeles. He currently serves as editor of Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures. Nieto-Phillips’s books include The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish-American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s–1930s (UNM Press, 2004) and the co-edited volume Interpreting Spanish Colonialism: Empires, Nations, and Legends (UNM Press, 2005).

What excites me about being part of the SAR team is its mission to really deeply examine the human condition—past, present, and future. That is part of what inspires me to be a scholar. Areas of SAR’s mission that are meaningful to me are the creation of new knowledge, its dissemination, wanting to give back to the communities from which we derive a lot of our knowledge, and the organization’s dedication to engaging with diverse communities that make SAR possible.

—John Nieto-Phillips 


Thomas R. Conner has been called one of the top family lawyers in the United States. With over four decades of experience in the law profession, he recently retired with a Texas Board of Legal Specialization A-V rated board certification in family law. Conner graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in business administration and from the University of Houston with a law degree. He continues to support the next generation of family law professionals by serving as a master emeritus in the family law division of the American Inns of Court. Conner’s philanthropic endeavors include co-founding and serving as a trustee of TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) Foundation.
SAR is one of the most important institutions in Santa Fe. From its collections and its incredible scholar programs to its outreach to Native American communities, its goals are worthy, and it is having an impact worldwide.

—Thomas R. Conner

A full list of SAR board members and their backgrounds can be found at https://sarweb.org/about/board-of-directors/.

For high-resolution images or interview requests, contact Meredith Davidson, davidson@sarsf.org or 505-954-7223.

About the School for Advanced Research (SAR): Founded in 1907, the School for Advanced Research (SAR) is one of North America’s preeminent independent institutes for the study of anthropology, related social sciences, and humanities. SAR is home to the Indian Arts Research Center, one of the nation’s most important Southwest Native American art research collections. Through prestigious scholar residency and artist fellowship programs, public programs, and SAR Press, SAR advances intellectual inquiry in order to better understand humankind in an increasingly global and interconnected world. Additional information on the work of our resident scholars and Native American artists is available on the SAR website, www.sarweb.org; on Facebook, facebook.com/schoolforadvancedresearch.org/; on Twitter, @schadvresearch; and on Instagram @schoolforadvancedresearch.

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