Priscilla Dale Jones: Official Historian at the Department of Homeland Defense

Historians in the News

Bruce Craig, in the weekly newsletter of the National Coalition for History (March 4, 2004):

This week, the 180,000-employee Department of Homeland Security celebrates its first anniversary as an institution. There to document the event is Priscilla Dale Jones, the department's recently hired historian. Her office is believed to be the only Congressionally sanctioned office of history in the federal government (see"Homeland Security History Office Authorized" in NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE, Vol. 9 #39; 9 October 2003).

Jones comes to the position with an MA in history from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Ph.D. from Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge, England. Her academic interests include modern Europe and Holocaust studies; her dissertation focused on the evolution of British war-crime policy from 1939-58.

Jones was selected for the historian position in part because of her strong background in oral history and also because of her experience in history-related contract administration. Prior to her appointment with the DHS she ran the oral history program at the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, which, at the time, was associated with the Florida International University: More recently, she was a historian with the Air Force History Office where for a decade she assisted in the editing of a journal called Air Power History and managed various history-related contracts.

Jones began her new duties with the DHS earlier this month. Among the first tasks she hopes to tackle is to make contact with the broad community of federal historians and see how other departmental and agency history offices are organized and operate. After that she hopes to be able to develop a strategic plan for her office and begin to carry out the other objectives described in her office's legislative charge. We wish Priscilla"all-the-best" in her new position.

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