Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is the governing body of NHD, providing strategic oversight for the organization.
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Celie Niehaus, President
Jon Gillum, Vice President
Steven Goldberg, Treasurer
Noralee Frankel, Secretary
Richard Prasse, Chair, Governance Committee
Courtney Chapin, Co-Chair, Development Committee
Donald Wildman, Co-Chair, Development Committee
The Honorable Robert Wilkins
The Advisory Council, comprised of representatives from partner organizations and agencies, advises the Board of Trustees and the national staff on issues of programming and helps to connect NHD with other national organizations.
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Dana Schaffer, Chair
Nicholas E. Coddington
Michelle Anne Delaney
Julian Hipkins, III
Elisabeth M. Marsh
Lee Ann Potter
Philip M. Soergel
Executive Council of Coordinators
The Executive Council of Coordinators, comprised of elected and appointed representatives among NHD’s affiliates (states, territories, and countries), offers insights and expertise from the local level.
NHD works collaboratively with its affiliate programs, which are independently run by a variety of institutions. NHD’s affiliates are the backbone of the overall program, serving the teachers and students in their respective areas.
Dr. David Van Tassel, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, founded National History Day in 1974 to encourage students to analyze historical events and draw conclusions about their impact on human society. He believed that asking students to center their projects around a common theme would enable them to consider why their topic was important in history and to learn the importance of historical perspective.
Continue reading about the first history day
Though it began as a local competition in Cleveland, Ohio, thanks to Dr. Van Tassel’s outreach efforts, the program grew rapidly, and in 1980, 19 states attended the first National Contest.
In 1990, Dr. Van Tassel received the NEH’s Charles Frankel Prize for Public Programming in the Humanities for his pioneering work. Although Van Tassel passed away in 2000, his legacy lives on through the 600,000+ secondary school students worldwide who bring history to life with their research and analysis.