Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend's, PhD History '09, career started as an editorial assistant at the American Historical Association (AHA) in 1989, while he was working on a master's degree at the Catholic University of America. 

Over the next 24 years he took on roles as directory editor, manager of information systems, director of publications and research,  and finally deputy director of the organization. During his time at the AHA, he brought the association onto the world wide web (in 1994), edited 28 books, and authored or co-authored more than 200 articles on various aspects of history, higher education, and electronic publishing.

He also revised and published his dissertation as History's Babel with the University of Chicago Press (in 2013). The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recruited Townsend in 2013 to manage their Washington office (the main headquarters is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts), which involves in a wide variety of educational and outreach activities on subjects ranging from undergraduate education and employment to science and innovation policy. In this capacity, he regularly works with other scholarly nonprofits in the area and on Capitol Hill.

He also oversees the Humanities Indicators project (http://humanitiesindicators.org), which tracks and reports the health of the field, conducts survey research, and develops other online resources and tools.

Townsend volunteers his time to Mason as a member of the CHSS Dean's Advisory Board.