Susan Bean is Chair of the Art & Archaeology Center of the American Institute of Indian Studies. She serves on the board of directors the Textile Society of America; she was a member of the society’s founding board from 1987 to 1992. She also sat on governing boards of the American Council for Southern Asian Art (1996 – 98, vice-president 2005 – 07, president 2008 – 10), the American Ethnological Society (1990 – 93), the Council for Museum Anthropology (1988 – 90), and the South Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies (2004 – 07).
She edited the journal Museum Anthropology for the Council for Museum Anthropology (1997 – 2000) and The Network: An International Directory of Textile Scholars for the Textile Society of America (1983 – 92).
She organized the biennial symposium of the American Council for Southern Asian Art in 2004 and the joint conference Arts and Goods sponsored by the Council for Museum Anthropology and the American Ethnological Society in 1993.
She was an advisor to the America-Bhutan Council (1993 – 2000), Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New England Chapter (1985 – 95), the Friends of Bhutan’s Culture (2005 – 2009), the South Asian Photography Initiative at the Harvard University Art Museums (2006), the New England Folklife Center (1995-2000), and the Smithsonian Institution Special Foreign Currency Program (1986 – 89).
She was regularly a peer reviewer for the Institute of Museum services between 1990 and 2002, and for the National Endowment for the Humanities Panel on Humanities Projects in Museums between 1990 and 2008. She also served as a peer reviewer for the National Science Foundation (1989, 1990), the Wenner-Gren Foundation (1988), and the Woodrow Wilson International Center (1990 – 99).