Betty K. Koed

Betty KoedAssistant Historian, Senate Historical Office
Washington, D.C.

“As a public historian working for the U.S. Senate, I have not left teaching behind. Rather, I am teaching in new ways to an ever-growing audience. I am in daily contact with students, teachers, constituents, Senate staffers, and senators—in person, on the phone, and over the Internet—opening up new avenues of teaching political history and expanding the institutional knowledge of the U.S. Senate."


Betty K. Koed received her B.A. in English and began her professional career as a technical writer before pursuing a graduate education in history. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she studied U.S. political history with Otis L. Graham Jr. and American political culture and public policy with Robert Kelley. While a graduate student, she worked on the staff of The Public Historian, where she learned of the wide variety of careers available in public history. After graduate school, she became an assistant editor for the Writings of Henry D. Thoreau and taught American history at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

In 1998 Koed joined the Senate Historical Office. In addition to her research and writing duties as assistant historian for the U.S. Senate, she is the senior editor of the print and online version of the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress and is the historical office’s representative for the design and maintenance of the Senate web page. She is currently at work on an administrative history of the U.S. Senate, 1789 to the present, and a one-volume documentary history of Senate impeachment trials.