Philip L. Cantelon

Philip CantelonPresident, History Associates
Rockville, Maryland

“The challenge ahead is for history departments at the undergraduate and graduate levels to learn and understand the broad markets for the employment of trained history majors and historians and adjust curricula accordingly. For example, training in the future should include more team projects that rely on the rigorous selection of evidence, the ability to tell a clear and logical story, and the skill to draw useable conclusions."


Philip L. Cantelon, president of History Associates Incorporated, graduated from Dartmouth College and holds an M.A. from the University of Michigan and Ph.D. in history from Indiana University. He taught contemporary American history at Williams College for nine years and then worked for a year as a policy analyst and speechwriter at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1980, Cantelon founded History Associates, which provides professional historical, archival, records management, and litigation research to federal, state, and local governments and to private corporations and professional associations throughout the United States and Europe. Located in Rockville, Maryland, History Associates has about fifty employees and is the largest historical consulting firm in the country, with annual sales of $3.5 million. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Cantelon manages to spend almost 60 percent of his time on contract assignments. In recent years he has written a corporate history of MCI and co-authored histories of the two major U.S. trucking companies, Roadway and CNF transportation.

Cantelon has been professionally active in public history since 1979. He was a founding member of the Society for History in the Federal Government and its first treasurer and was also a founder and first executive director of the National Council on Public History. He has chaired a countywide historic preservation commission and served as the president of two historical societies.