Libby Haight O'Connell, Ph.D.

Libby Haight O'Connell, Ph.D.

NMAH Board Alumnus; Chief Historian, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, History Channel and A&E Networks; Author, The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites

Libby O'Connell oversees corporate and educational outreach for A+E Networks, including History Channel, A&E, H2, and FYI. She also serves as Chief Historian for History Channel. Dr. O'Connell produces on site films for organizations such as the Smithsonian, Ellis Island, and Gettysburg, which History donates as part of its commitment to corporate citizenship. Dr. O'Connell developed Mission to Honor: the Veterans Campaign and Save Our History, two corporate initiatives that have been recognized by the White House as well as the Mayor's Office for City of New York. She has received three Emmys for her work in television, and appears on national TV as a guest commentator.

Dr. O'Connell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia after graduating from Tufts University magna cum laude. She currently serves on several boards including the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and National History Day. In 2013, the White House appointed her as a commissioner on the National World War I Centennial Commission.

Emmy Award-winning producer, preservationist, and cultural historian, Dr. O'Connell is also the author of The American Plate: A History of the United States in 100 Bites, published in November 2014. 



Libby 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.  A Question of Life or Meth, executive-produced by Dr. O'Connell, won a 2007 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special. Two of her educational initiatives, Save Our History® and the Biography Project for Schools, have received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Dr. O'Connell was the recipient of the 2007 NCTA's Vanguard Award for Government and Community Relations, the cable industry's highest honor in her field.  Dr. O’Connell resides in New York City.