Bachelor, Lafayette College, 1969; Master of Arts, New York University, 1971; Doctor of Philosophy, U North Carolina, 1980.
Research historian North Carolina Division Archives and History, Raleigh, 1974-1975, deputy state history preservation officer, 1976-1980. Assistant director Southern Oral History Program, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1975-1976. Executive director Durham (North Carolina) Neighborhood Housing Services, 1980-1983, North Carolina Humanities Council, Greensboro, 1983-1987, Pennsylvania History & Museum Commission, Harrisburg, 1987—2002.
Chief Executive Officer United States Brig Niagara, Homeport Erie Maritime Museum, Erie, Pennsylvania. Director National Museum American History, Washington, since 2002. Served United States National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
Board advisors Capitol Area Therapeutics Riding Academy, Grantville, Pennsylvania, 1989. Member Flight 93 Memorial Commission. Board trustee Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania.
Member National Trust for Historic Preservation, Organization American Historians, American Association for State and Local History, Society for Industrial Archeology, Pennsylvania Federation Museum and History Organizations (secretary 1987).
Married Barbara Martin, June 28, 1972. 1 child, Loren Evan.