Center Staff

Director 

Eric Arnesen is the Teamsters Professor of History at George Washington University. He earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University and an MA in African-American Studies and a PhD in history from Yale University. A specialist in the history of race, labor, politics, and civil rights, he is the author of two award-winning books — Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality (2001) and Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923 (1991). He is also the author, editor, or co-editor of five other books. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he has published numerous reviews and review essays in the Chicago Tribune, as well as the New Republic, the Nation, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and Dissent. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Harvard’s Charles Warren Center, he held the Distinguished Fulbright Chair at Uppsala University in Sweden. Co-chair of the Washington History Seminar at the Wilson Center since 2013, he is completing a biography of A. Philip Randolph.

Contact Eric Arnesen at earnesen@historians.org.

Assistant Director

Rachel Wheatley is a Master’s student at Georgetown University in the Global, International, and Comparative History Program. She specifically studies American Political History during the Civil War. She holds a BA from Brigham Young University in History with a minor in Business Management. She has worked for two years in grant administration positions where she managed grant applications and program budgets.

Contact Rachel Wheatley at rwheatley@historians.org.

Program Assistant

Matthew Barak is a senior at Georgetown University, majoring in government and minoring in history and sociology. He specializes in American politics, having previously worked as an intern in the House of Representatives and as a campaign field organizer in Wisconsin. As an undergraduate student, he has conducted research into Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He is currently researching African American communities surrounding Fort Reno in Washington, DC, between 1860 and 1880. After graduation in May, Matthew hopes to continue working at the intersection of politics and history.  

Interns

Emma Billings is a junior at George Washington University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts. She is majoring in history with minors in socio-cultural anthropology and archaeology, specializing in Indigenous and colonial history in North America and the Pacific. She will begin research this summer with the support of a fellowship on the understanding of gender roles through education between Indigenous and colonizing nations.


Staff Accountant                                                                                    

Amin Shaheen handles the Center’s accounting.  He has over 20 years of experience as an accountant.  He started his career with Price Waterhouse, then joined two nonprofits, Population Action International and Children’s National Medical Center and worked his way up to Director of Accounting and Administration for law firm Institute for Justice. This journey gave Amin the knowledge and hands-on management skills needed to start Accounting On Demand in 2002.

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