Because of the growing problem of looting of terracotta statuettes from Middle Niger sites, Dr. McIntosh became involved in issues of archaeological heritage and cultural property and has published and lectured widely on these topics.
In 1996, she was appointed by President Clinton to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, where she served two terms, until 2003. She has also served as a member of the Archaeology Panel at NSF. She is on the editorial boards of numerous journals, and from 2002–2004, she served as President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists.
Her current research focuses on the emergence of large-scale, complex societies in Africa, the impact of climate and environmental change on human society in the past, and the politics of archaeology and archaeological representations of the past.