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Sara Bon-Harper

Sara Bon-Harper is the Executive Director of Ash Lawn-Highland, the home of James Monroe in Albemarle County, Virginia. She has held this position since September, 2012, working on strategic vision and daily operations of the site, which is owned and operated by the College of William & Mary. Ms. Bon-Harper earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Classics from the University of Arizona. She has taught at the University of Virginia, and has conducted archaeological research and trained archaeological students in Europe and North America. Before coming to Ash Lawn-Highland, she worked as Archaeological Research Manager at Monticello (1999-2012), where she led a team investigating lost elements of the plantation landscape, and developed a passion for reaching multiple audiences through interpretation of research about the past. Her prior research focused on Roman peripheries in Italy and France, and on the disenfranchised in state societies, with topical expertise in archaeological ceramics and research methods. She has lectured and written on a variety of themes, including the analysis of archaeological data, landscapes of slavery, and the construction of historic narratives. Her current focus at Ash Lawn-Highland is sharing the relevance of James Monroe in U.S. history and current social and political dialogues. She serves on the State Review Board for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.