Dr. Pearl Ponce Appointed Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library
Press Release · Monday, April 15, 2024

Washington, DC

Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan is pleased to announce that Dr. Pearl Ponce will serve as the Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas, effective June 2, 2024. Dr. Ponce will lead the planning, directing, and administration of all Library programming and activities.

I am excited Dr. Ponce is joining the National Archives team. With her deep knowledge of the presidency and foreign relations, and her passion for American democracy, she will be an excellent steward for the George W. Bush Library and a strong voice for archival research and public engagement,” said Shogan. “The Presidential libraries provide an important framework to better understand the complexities of our democracy and the decisions that shape our nation.”

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Pearl Ponce

Dr. Pearl T. Ponce has a long and distinguished academic career. As a professor at Ithaca College, she served as chair of the history department for six years. During this time, she  operated in a leadership role overseeing curricular revision; accreditation and program reviews; and mentoring peers, colleagues, and students at the college and beyond. Dr. Ponce is a political and diplomatic historian with a specialty in the Civil War era, having taught a wide range of courses in United States history, such as the American Civil War and Reconstruction, The House Divided: The United States in the Long 19th Century, 1800-1914, and the History of United States Foreign Relations.

She is the author of "To Govern the Devil in Hell: The Political Crisis in Territorial Kansas” and the editor of “Kansas's War: The Civil War in Documents.” Her main research interests have centered around the presidency, governance and democracy, the exercise of federal power, and the territorial system. Her latest project, "’A Strange System of Terrorism’: Federal Power and the Fraying of Democracy in Utah, Washington, and Kansas Territories in the 1850s,” brings these threads together. 

She earned a master of arts and doctorate in history from Harvard University, a master of arts in history and certificate in contemporary history from Ohio University, and a bachelor of arts in international relations from Pomona College. 

"The George W. Bush Foundation is thrilled to welcome Dr. Pearl Ponce as Director of the Bush Library in Dallas," said Ken Hersh, president and CEO of the Bush Foundation. "Her tremendous academic credentials and scholarship on the presidency will make her a great asset for historians, researchers, and educators. The presidential archives at the Bush Library are a national treasure, and I know she will steward them well."

The George W. Bush Presidential Library is one of 15 libraries in the Presidential Library system operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, representing Herbert Hoover through Donald J. Trump. Presidential Libraries and Museums are repositories for each administration's papers and records and preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.


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This page was last reviewed on April 15, 2024.
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