Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

Dr. John Taylor-Montoya named executive director of Office of Archaeological Studies

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

December 18, 2023


Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) is pleased to announce that Dr. John Taylor-Montoya has been appointed to serve as executive director of Office of Archaeological Studies (OAS). Dr. Taylor-Montoya will begin in this role on January 6, 2024.  

“I feel honored to serve as the executive director of Office of Archaeological Studies,” said Dr. John Taylor-Montoya. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue working with the outstanding staff and volunteers. Together, I believe we will make OAS successful now and for years to come.” 

As executive director, Dr. Taylor-Montoya will provide strategic and ethical leadership, direction, fiscal management, and overall supervision to OAS. He will manage staff and volunteers, while collaborating with other NMDCA divisions, the Museum of New Mexico Board of Regents, and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, including the Friends of Archaeology. 

“John’s work experience and deep commitment to the archaeology and cultural resources of New Mexico will serve Office of Archaeological Studies well,” said Debra Garcia y Griego, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. “John has a strong knowledge of the state and federal laws related to cultural resource management work. He has a clear belief that respectful dialogue and transparency are key elements for building positive relationships with the diverse stakeholders that OAS serves.” 

Dr. Taylor-Montoya currently serves as a program director at OAS. He is a native New Mexican born and raised in Albuquerque whose family has deep roots in the state. Dr. Taylor-Montoya earned a Doctorate degree in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University in 2011, a Master of Arts in Anthropology from University of Oklahoma in 2003, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from University of New Mexico in 2000. He began practicing archaeology in New Mexico in 1999 on projects in the central and northern Rio Grande area. His career in public archaeology began in 2001 as a staff archaeologist in the Oklahoma State Archaeologist office. His professional experience also includes working for the Institutional Advancement department for University of Texas at Brownsville where he gained valuable experience in program development and fundraising. Since 2012, he has served as a senior project manager and director for regional offices of private, nationwide Cultural Resource Management firms. Dr. Taylor-Montoya has presented his research at international conferences, published articles in scholarly journals, and authored more than 100 technical reports. He currently lives in Albuquerque with his wife, two children, their poodle, four fish, and a crested gecko. 

Dr. Taylor-Montoya’s appointment is a result of a national search conducted by the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico in close collaboration with NMDCA and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. 

About New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs  

Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) is New Mexico’s cultural steward, charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic sites, arts, archaeology, historic preservation, and library programs, NMDCA is one of the largest and most diverse state cultural agencies in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs, and services of the Department support a $5.6 billion cultural industry in New Mexico.  

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