Main Content

Media Contact

For all media inquiries and image requests:

Nov 30, 2016 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association announced today the appointment of Dr. Edward Lengel as Chief Historian and Dr. Matthew Costello as Senior Historian. Both scholars join the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History, the Association’s institute for White House research and education. 

Lengel joins the Association after nearly twenty years with the University of Virginia, Washington Papers. He has served as the project director and full professor since 2010. For the past 10 years, he taught as the primary scholar for Mount Vernon’s Teachers’ Institute both in Virginia and across the south. A prolific writer, his books and articles cover a range of George Washington’s history, as well as World War I. Edward has authored numerous books, including General George Washington: A Military Life, Inventing George Washington: America’s Founder in Myth and Memory, Thunder and Flames: Americans in the Crucible of Combat, and his forthcoming title, The Lost Battalion by Da Capo Press.

He is a Special Advisor to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation and serves on the Advisory Board of the United States World War One Centennial Commission. He holds a Ph.D. in modern European history and an M.A. in history from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. from George Mason University. He is a National Humanities Medal award winner, in conjunction with the Washington Papers Project, and has received honors from the Army Historical Foundation, U.S. Military History Group, Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. book prize, and the Rawlings Prize, among others.

“We are privileged to count many of the leading historians on White House history and American history among our collaborators, scholars, and authors, said Stewart D. McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. “Ed’s expertise and leadership will enhance the Association’s own scholarly research and support new and ongoing collaborations with experts across the country and around the world.”

Lengel is joined by Matthew Costello who will serve as senior historian within the Rubenstein Center for the Association. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in American history from Marquette University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to serving as a project contributor for the Washington Papers at the University of Virginia, Costello has also collaborated with the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

Find us on...