The following is excerpted from Tulin Duda's memorial of Melvin Ember, available here.
Melvin Ember was an eminent
cultural anthropologist and a leader in cross-cultural research. As President of HRAF from 1987-2009, he boldly led the archive into the digital age.
His cross-cultural studies...on kinship, marriage, war, aggression, peace, language, and other topics, yielded over 80 scientific and professional articles, many of them were supported with grants from the National Science Foundation. He served as editor of the journal Cross-Cultural Research from 1982 until his death.
As President of HRAF, a post he held until his death, Melvin Ember advanced the two-part goal of the resource center: to build a searchable collection of descriptive primary sources on all cultures of the world and to foster its use in comparative research that would ultimately offer explanations of human behavior that are not culturally bound.