Zach Conn

Postdoctoral Fellow


Zachary Conn is a historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century North America. His research focuses on the early United States’ relations with Indigenous peoples. Since August 2023, he has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at SMU’s Center for Presidential History, where he conducts research and helps host and produce the Center’s podcast.


The Ambassadors, Zach’s book project, examines the embassies the early United States government maintained in Native American villages. Diplomacy at these federal “Indian agencies” was at once its own form of geopolitics and a factor impacting the Republic’s relations with other states, including the British and Spanish Empires. 

Zach earned his spurs (he’s a brand-new Texan but trying to fit in) as an early American historian at the University of Chicago and Yale University, where he graduated with a PhD under the direction of Professor Joanne Freeman in 2022. He has written for such publications as Intelligence and National Security , Age of Revolutions, and Washington Post’s Made By History series , and contributed research and writing to the early stages of a proposed PBS documentary on Native American history. 

Zach is also a passionate history teacher. He has worked with a diverse range of students at Yale, the University of New Haven, New Haven’s first generation-focused Albertus Magnus College, and a private high school for both local and international students in East Hampton, NY. Please feel free to reach out if you’d like to discuss how he and four colleagues survived two weeks exploring the American Southwest with a bus full of ninth graders, or anything else.