Nelly Margarita Robles García
Nelly Robles Garcia holds an undergraduate degree in archaeology, a masters in preservation of prehistoric architecture, and was supported by a Fulbright grant to do a doctorate in anthropology at the University of Georgia. She is an author or editor of twelve books on archaeology and cultural resources management in Mexico, including The Management of Archaeological Resources in Mexico, published by the Society for American Archaeology.
She has been the president of Mexico´s Council of Archaeology (the government body which oversees all archaeological research in the country) and the first Mexican female archaeologist ever elected in the governing board of the Society for American Archaeology. She has served UNESCO as an evaluator of sites nominated for World Heritage status, and a part of the governing board of the International Centre for the Study of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage in Rome (ICCROM). She served as a special envoy for UNESCO to World Heritage sites damaged by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. She sits on a special international committee convened by the President´s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (USA) to establish international educational linkages and a sister parks program between U.S. and Mexican World Heritage sites.
Her real contribution to cultural heritage management in Mexico and Latin America has been her tireless and effective advocacy on behalf of a resource management perspective. In 1997 Robles created the first site management plan for an archaeological zone in Mexico (Monte Alban), something that has since become a requirement for all sites. She created the first formal wheelchair-accessible route, became the first archaeological zone director to put a botanist on her management team, and instituted international training courses for site managers from Latin America, established a documentation center where site directors can learn about management innovations at World Heritage sites, and established a collaborative outreach program to serve community museums around the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.