Director: Jeffrey A. Engel
Engel has authored or edited six books on American foreign policy, including Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2007), which received the Paul Birdsall Prize from the American Historical Association; Local Consequences of the Global Cold War (Stanford University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2008); The China Diary of George H.W. Bush: The Making of a Global President (Princeton University Press, 2008); The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989 (Oxford University Press, 2009); with Joseph R. Cerami, Rethinking Leadership and “Whole of Government” National Security Reform (Strategic Studies Institute, 2010); and Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War (Oxford University Press, 2012). His scholarly and popular articles have appeared in such journals as Diplomatic History; Diplomacy & Statecraft; Project Syndicate; Perspectives on History; Enterprise & Society; The International Journal; and Air & Space Magazine.
He is currently writing Seeking Monsters to Destroy: How America Goes to War, From Jefferson to Obama (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) and a comprehensive diplomatic history of the first Bush Administration entitled When the World Seemed New: American Foreign Policy in the Age of George H.W. Bush (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, forthcoming).
Associate Director: Brian R. Franklin
Brian Franklin joined the Center for Presidential History as Associate Director in the Summer of 2012 after completing his doctoral work at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on American religious and political history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He has presented his work at the annual meetings of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, American Society of Church History, and the British Scholar Society, and has published reviews in the Journal of the Early Republic and Southern Historian. Brian’s current project, America's Missions: The Home Missions Movement and the Story of the Early Republic, explores the role of Protestant mission societies in shaping the political, social, and regional world of the early republic.
Coordinator: Ronna Spitz
Ronna Spitz joined the Center for Presidential History as Coordinator in the Fall of 2012. Her professional background includes university, government, and large corporate marketing, event planning, and project management. She has worked in multiple fields, including the petroleum industry; electricity generation, distribution and government regulation; and business intelligence software. Her most recent university position was as Director of Research Communications and Marketing at the University of Oklahoma’s Sarkeys Energy Center. Ronna holds a B.S. in finance and a MBA in marketing from Oklahoma City University.
Fellow: William Steding
Steding has a broad background that extends from the corporate boardroom to the classroom. In the business world he works with public and private organizations on a range of issues from global risk assessment, mergers and acquisitions, executive development, and strategic and operational planning. In the academic world his interests include presidential decision-making, religion, and US foreign policy. His academic credentials include degrees in marketing and finance from the University of Washington, and his PhD in diplomatic history from University College Cork in Ireland. He is the creator of cognetic profiling™ that provides a powerful diagnostic tool to explain complex decision-making based on the beliefs, convictions, and modus operandi of the executive or leader. His principal focus at the Center for Presidential History is the development of the Collective Memory Project. He is the author of a number of essays and book reviews as well as his 2007 collection, American Avenue: Rhythm and Reason. He has two chapters on President Jimmy Carter forthcoming in edited volumes published by Cambridge University Press and the Wiley-Blackwell Companion Series of American Presidents. His next study is tentatively titled The Disciple and the Alchemist: Religion and US Foreign Policy During the Presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. His most current writings can be found at ameritecture.blogspot.org.