The Public Education Project is reframing federal government history to stimulate the American public’s interest in the story of their government. PEP reimagines that history as the cumulative work of the mosaic of diverse agencies and offices as they strive to meet the nation’s needs. We believe that knowledge of the past is a powerful corrective to negative attitudes and misinformation. It can open the door to more objective and critical thinking about our government, looking at both its accomplishments and its failures. We hope that you who have chosen to visit these pages will stay to explore our resources. If you come away with an appreciation for the amazing history that has shaped our government agencies and programs, please share your insights and discoveries with others.
The Public Education Project was born after an exploratory meeting in October 2018 of four experienced, senior historical professionals. Judson MacLaury, Lee Ann Potter, Mike Reis, and Don Ritchie (see ID’s below) were deeply concerned about the widespread lack of knowledge of the U.S. government and its history. Laying long-term plans for impactful educational efforts, they began by producing a pilot project of short historical videos about three federal agencies for distribution to the public. Initially formed as a committee under the aegis of the Society for History in the Federal Government, in August 2022 the PEP incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization. PEP has applied for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, which will allow it to accept tax-deductible contributions. PEP has now set its sights on launching projects in public messaging and K-12 education.
The below officers constitute the Board of Directors.
Special Consultant on Production
and Social Media
Committee of Advisers
Photo Sources: With the exceptions noted below, all photos are from the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, and other federal agencies, and are in the public domain.
Sources for images in the photo carousel on the “Agency Histories” page: FAA Facility – ©Judson MacLaury; NOAA Science Center – Art Troll, under Creative Commons License; US Lifesaving Station – ©Mike Reis.