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Historical Advisory Board,
U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

The Historical Advisory Board for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission (US WWICC) provides expert advice to the Commission as it evaluates requests for support. The Commission relies on the advice, in their area of expertise, of historical Advisors to review requests for endorsement, support or commemorative partnerships received by the Commission. Historical Advisors have also agreed to serve as advisors for the content of education material promoted by the US WWICC. Many of the Advisors also serve on state commissions, regional committees or organizations supporting locally the commemoration of the centennial of WWI. The Advisors serve without pay.


The Board Members

Commissioner Dr. Libby O'Connell

libby oconnellLibby O'Connell was appointed Chief Historian, Senior Vice President, Corporate Outreach, AETN, in March 2005. Dr. O'Connell serves as historical adviser for HISTORY's programming department. In addition, she spearheads all educational and community-based initiatives for AETN, including History's Take A Veteran To School Day and the award-winning Save Our History, and A&E's Intervention Town Hall Meetings, part of The Recovery Project.

Dr. O'Connell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia. She has taught history at Long Island University and has served as president of Raynham Hall Museum on Long Island. Dr. O'Connell serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; the Civil War Preservation Trust; and National History Day. She is also on the Council of Scholar Advisors for George Washington's home, Mount Vernon.


Commissioner Monique Brouillet Seefried, Ph.D.

monique brouillet 200 1Monique Seefried, during the past decade as president of the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation, purchased the historic land, commissioned one of the best sculptors in England and totally funded with private money a memorial statue to the US 42nd (Rainbow Division) on a WWI battlefield in France where the division fought with distinction. She also served from May 2003 until April 2009 as chairman of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors. Prior to that, she founded and served as Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE) in Atlanta, whose board she now chairs. She also serves on the board of the United World College in New Mexico.

Between 1982 and 2002, she was Curator of Near Eastern Art at the Carlos Museum of Emory University and taught courses on Ancient Archaeology and Islamic Art in the University's Art History Department. Seefried has been a regular pro-bono lecturer on art and archaeology topics as well as on international education and more recently on World War I, its causes and its consequences.

Born a French citizen in Tunisia, Seefried became a US citizen in 1985. After a classical (Latin/Greek) secondary education, she did her undergraduate and graduate studies in History at the Sorbonne University in Paris from where she also holds her Ph.D. She is fluent in English, French, German and Italian. In 2005, the French Government made her a “chevalier” in the Order of the Academic Palms, in 2009 in the Order of Merit and in 2015 in the Order of the Legion of Honor.


Mitch Yockelson, Ph.D.

Mitch Yockelson 200Mitch Yockelson is an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where he works in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer as a member of the Archival Recovery Team (ART). Additionally, Mitch teaches history at Norwich University. He has published widely in the field of military history, including articles and book reviews in various journals and magazines, and is the author of three books: Borrowed Soldiers, Americans under British Command, 1918 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), MacArthur: America’s General (Thomas Nelson, 2010) and Grant: Savior of the Union (Thomas Nelson, 2012). A fourth book, Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in 1918, will be published by New American Library Press in March 2016. Mitch received a B.S. from Frostburg State University, an M.A. from George Mason University and a Ph.D. from the Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield University, United Kingdom.


Doran Cart

Doran Cart headshot 200Doran Cart is Senior Curator at The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO. He has been the curator since April 1990 and Senior Curator since 2011. He has lived in Kansas City, Missouri since 1985. He has been involved in the restoration of the memorial, the creation of the current world-class museum and the growth of the museum collection into the most diverse collection on the war.

Doran has a B.A. in history from Indiana University and an M.A. in Museum Studies and History from the University of California, Riverside. Since he started his professional career in 1974, Doran has worked in museums, at historic sites and in historic preservation from Indiana to California to Florida and finally in Kansas City.

He has written a number of articles on historical subjects and edited two books. Doran has been interviewed on the national Fox News, for shows on the History Channel, PBS’ History Detectives and by local, regional and international media.


Mark Facknitz

Mark Facknitz Mark Facknitz is Roop Distinguished Professor of English at James Madison University. The 1989 winner of the Virginia Prize for fiction, his creative work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Story Quarterly, The Iowa Review, and other journals. His essays on Raymond Carver, Anthony Powell, Henry Green, Joseph Conrad, Michel Tournier, and others have appeared in Studies in Short Fiction, CEA Critic, The Journal of Modern Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, The Journal of Narrative Technique, and other publications.

In recent years he has divided his research interests between the Great War and Willa Cather. His essay “Kitsch, Commemoration, and Mourning in the Aftermath of the Great War” is in press as Chapter 16 of Jonathan Vance’s The Great War: From Memory to History (Wilfred Laurier UP, 2016). He has published on Ivor Gurney’s shellshock in The Journal of the Ivor Gurney Society, on war cemeteries and the margins of memory in Bridges, on Luytens and Thiepval as paradigms of commemoration in Crossings, and on pre-1914 gardens as trope for the soldier’s remembered self in a/b Autobiography Studies.

His not purely academic interest in the Great War depends on a German grandfather, prisoner of war in Japan 1914-1919; an American grandfather, an engineer in the AEF; and a great uncle who died for Canada. He holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.


John Maxwell Hamilton

John Maxwell HamiltonJack Hamilton is the Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor of Journalism at Louisiana State University and a Global Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. He is the author and co-author of six books and editor of many more.

His most recent book, Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting, won the Goldsmith Prize, among other awards. He is currently writing a history of propaganda in World War I.

Hamilton is the founding dean of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and served as the university’s Executive Vice-Chancellor & Provost. Before coming to LSU, he was a foreign correspondent and a longtime commentator on public radio’s Marketplace.

He has held positions in the World Bank, the Agency for International Development, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


Dr. Jennifer D. Keene

Jennifer KeeneJennifer D. Keene is a professor of history and chair of the History Department. She received her Ph.D. in History from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a specialist in American military experience during World War I. She received the Wang-Franklin Professorship for 2007-9, the highest faculty award given by Chapman University. Dr. Keene has published three books on the American involvement in the First World War, Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America (2001), The United States and the First World War (2000), and World War I ( 2006). She is also the lead author for an America history textbook, Visions of America: A History of the United States. She is currently working on a book detailing the African American experience during the First World War and has another project comparing the experiences of soldiers from the French and British empires during World War I. Dr. Keene served as an associate editor for the Encyclopedia of War and American Society (2005) which won the Society of Military History's prize for best military history reference book. She is on the advisory board of the International Society for First World War Studies and serves as the book review editor for the Journal of First World War Studies.


Edward G. Lengel, Ph.D.

Edward G. LengelEdward G. Lengel received his B.A. in History from George Mason University in 1991, and in 1998 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, where he directed the Washington Papers Project for many years. He served as Chief Historian of the White House Historical Association from 2016 to 2018. Lengel has written several books on George Washington and World War I, and his next book, titled Never in Finer Company: The Men of the Great War’s Lost Battalion, will be published in September 2018. Lengel leads history and battlefield tours throughout Europe and the United States. He writes regularly for Military History Quarterly, American History and other periodicals, and has made television and radio appearances on The History Channel, Fox News, SiriusXM, and National Public Radio. He also appears on the World War I Centennial Commission’s weekly podcast as the segment host of "America Emerges: Military Stories from WWI".


Dr. Erin Mahan

Dr. Erin MahanDr. Erin Mahan is Chief Historian of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She previously served as associate research fellow at Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

From 2004-2008, she was Chief of the Division of Arms Control, Asia, and Africa in the Office of the Historian at the Department of State, where she edited several volumes in the Foreign Relations of the United States series related to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the former Soviet Union, the Vietnam War, and Korea.  She is also the author of Kennedy, De Gaulle and Western Europe (Palgrave, 2002) and has published several chapters and articles on biological and chemical weapons, NATO and U.S. and French foreign economic policies during the 1960s.

She was a contributing staff writer for the Report of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (GPO, 2008). She was a nationally elected Council member for the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2009–2011, and was appointed to the National Historical Publications & Records Commission. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.


Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr.

Dr. John H Morrow JrDr. John H. Morrow, Jr. was invited to join the faculty of the University of Georgia in 1988 as Franklin Professor, and in 1991 was elected History Department Chairman. He served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1993 to 1995 before returning to fulltime teaching and research. Twice selected an Honors Professor for superior teaching, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of Modern Europe and of warfare and society. He taught German history as a visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point spring semester 2005, for which the Department of the Army awarded him its Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 1988-89 Morrow was the Charles A. Lindbergh Visiting Professor at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), where he consulted on the design of the present gallery on World War I aviation. Morrow is a frequently invited lecturer at such institutions as the National War College, the Air War College, and the U.S. Military Academy,and he has chaired the History Advisory Committee to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Research Advisory Committee of the National Museum of American History (NMAH), and the Search Committee for the Director of the NMAH.


Jeffrey Sammons, Ph.D.

Jeffrey SammonsJeffrey T. Sammons is a professor in the Department of History at New York University, where he has taught since 1989. He began his academic career at the University of Houston and as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town before being named, in 1987, a Henry Rutgers Research Fellow at Rutgers University-Camden where he completed his critically acclaimed Beyond the Ring: The Role of Boxing in American Society. Sammons has also taught at Princeton University and at Hollins University as a Jessie Ball du Pont Scholar. In 2001, Sammons was awarded a fellowship by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and History and soon after received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in support of what became Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War. Sammons is a national senator of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and a member of the Museum and Library Committee of the United States Golf Association. He is the co-author of Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality with John H. Morrow, Jr.


Dr. Steven Trout

Steven TroutA native of Kansas City, Missouri, Steven Trout is Chair of the Department of English and Director of the Center for the Study of War and Memory at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He has authored or edited nine books related to the First World War in literature or public memory, including Memorial Fictions: Willa Cather and the First World War (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), On the Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919-1941 (University of Alabama Press, 2010), and World War I in American Fiction: An Anthology of Short Stories (co-edited by Scott D. Emmert, Kent State University Press, 2014).

He is the editor of the book series “War, Memory, and Culture,” published by the University of Alabama Press. Currently, he is writing a history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, New Mexico, the site that served as the de facto national memorial from 1971 until 1982.


Herman Viola, Ph.D.

Herman Viola 200Herman Viola, a curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, is currently the senior advisor for the National Native American Veterans Memorial being developed at the National Museum of the American Indian.

His undergraduate and masters degrees are from Marquette University; his Ph.D. in history is from Indiana University. The founding editor of Prologue: the Journal of the National Archives, Dr. Viola spent the bulk of his federal career at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where he curated two major exhibitions—“Magnificent Voyagers: U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842” and “Seeds of Change”—and established an intern program for American Indians interested in becoming tribal archivists, librarians, or historians.

He is the author of numerous books and articles including Warriors in Uniform: the Legacy of American Indian Heroism.


Susan Zeiger, Ph.D.

Susan ZeigerSusan Zeiger is Program Director at the Primary Source. Before joining the Primary Source staff, Susan was a professor of History at Regis College in Weston, MA, where she taught courses in gender and global studies and all aspects of U.S. history. One of her favorite responsibilities was supervising undergraduate teacher-candidates in both elementary and secondary education.

Susan is the author of books and articles on topics that include immigration and race, international relations, and gender, war and peace movements. Her most recent publication is Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century (March 2010, New York University Press).

Another professional interest is oral history and theatre. She collaborated on a teaching project that became "Testimonio," a play based on oral interviews about women's experience of political repression in Central America. She holds a PhD in U.S. History from New York University.