Michelle Rich earned a B.A. in Anthropology with an Archaeology focus from the University of Minnesota, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in the same from Southern Methodist University. A curator and archaeologist who specializes in Maya and Mesoamerican art and archaeology, she is the Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas at the Dallas Museum of Art, and held Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowships at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the San Antonio Museum of Art. She is a longtime Assistant Director of the Guatemalan-US led El Perú-Waka' Regional Archaeological Project/Proyecto Arqueológico Waka' (PAW), whose team has been exploring this ancient Maya city since 2003.