AASLH Staff Directory

For general questions or comments please email info@aaslh.org or call 615-320-3203.

John Dichtl became AASLH President & CEO in 2015. Prior to that he was the executive director of the National Council on Public History (NCPH) for nine years, and worked for the Organization of American Historians for fourteen years as deputy director and in several other roles. John received his MA and PhD in early American history from Indiana University, and from 2006 to 2015 was an adjunct faculty member of the history department at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Before graduate school he worked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a 2004 graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, a program that stems from an AASLH partnership with the Indiana Historical Society and other organizations. John helped to found the History Relevance Campaign, the International Federation for Public History, and is active in the National Coalition for History.

John Dichtl

President and CEO


Bethany Hawkins was named Chief of Operations for AASLH in April 2016. She joined AASLH in 2005 in the role of Program Manager working primarily with the association’s continuing education programs, annual meeting, awards program, and affinity groups. Before joining AASLH, she worked as Director of Marketing for the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville and was Executive Director of the Sam Davis Home and Museum in Smyrna, TN. A life-long Tennessee resident, Bethany has both a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University.

  • Annual Meeting
  • General Operations
  • National Awards Program
  • Technical Assistance
  • Historic House Affinity Community

Bethany Hawkins

Chief of Operations


John Marks joined AASLH in 2017 and currently serves as the Director of the AASLH Public History Research Lab and the Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives. As Director of the Research Lab, he leads AASLH’s field-wide research initiatives about the public history community and the role of history in American life. He also manages several other partnerships, initiatives, and special projects, including leading field-wide planning for the 250th anniversary of the United States and supporting internal survey and data efforts. John is a historian of race and slavery in the United States and Atlantic World and holds a Ph.D. in history from Rice University and a BA from Lynchburg College. He is a native of New Jersey.

John Garrison Marks

Director, Public History Research Lab
Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives


Aja Bain is the Program and Publications Manager. She has been with AASLH since 2014 and holds a BA in American history and anthropology from Vanderbilt University and an MA in public history from Middle Tennessee State University. Her research interests include migration, Southern history, and material culture. Aja serves on the boards of the Inter-Museum Council of Nashville, Historic Nashville, Inc., and the Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM). Previous affiliations include the Kentucky Historical Society and Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. When not at AASLH, she can be found leading tours of downtown Nashville and planning future travels.

  • Editor of History News magazine
  • Editor of AASLH blog
  • Managing Editor of AASLH book series
  • Social Media
  • Educators and Interpreters Affinity Community
  • Religious History Affinity Community
  • National Awards Program

Aja Bain

Program and Publications Manager


Dr. Ashley Bouknight-Claybrooks currently serves as the Senior Manager of Professional Development for the American Association for State and Local History, and was formerly Curator at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Prior to her work in Nashville, she served as a community educator and museum consultant for various museums, historic sites, and neighborhood history projects in the southeast. She received a Masters of Arts in Public History and a Certificate in Museum Management from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation and Community Planning from the College of Charleston. She received a Ph.D. in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University. Her research focuses on collections management theory, intersectionality and inclusivity in museums, and community outreach.

Ashley Bouknight-Claybrooks

Senior Manager of Professional Development


Alex Collins is a Middle Tennessee local who has worked and volunteered at local historic sites and museums since 2011. She holds a BA in History from Middle Tennessee State University. Before joining AASLH, Alex was employed with Bynon Art Services as a Conservation Technician on the new Tennessee State Museum project in Nashville, TN. She has also previously held positions at Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, TN and the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna, TN. Some of her professional experience includes preventative conservation, collections management, interpretation, museum programming, and event planning. Alex formerly served as the Secretary and Membership Chair for the Inter-Museum Council of Nashville, and on the Awards Committee for the Tennessee Association of Museums.

Please feel free to reach out to Alex if you have questions about the following:

Alex Collins





Rebecca is a native Californian who moved to Nashville in 2021. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Art History and Classics from California State University, Los Angeles. After completing her bachelor’s, she attended a study abroad program in Greece. Later, she attended San Francisco State University to complete her master’s degree in Museum Studies. Her dissertation focused on curatorial practices to exhibiting popular music history. While completing her degree, she worked at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco as an Administrative Assistant to the Curators.

Some of her other experiences include working at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the San Mateo County Historical Museum in San Mateo, CA, and volunteering at the Getty Villa.

Rebecca Mendez

Membership &

Office Coordinator


Aubrey arrived in Nashville in 2019 from Colorado, where she worked in Membership and Development at the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Art Museum. She holds a BA in Art History from University of Colorado.  In her spare time she enjoys podcasts, cross stitch, and spoiling her dogs.

Aubrey Menich

Professional Development Coordinator


Rey Regenstreif-Harms is excited to be a part of AASLH as Membership and Development Manager and enjoys helping AASLH members get the most out of their memberships. Rey is a native of Seattle, Washington. He has a BA in History from the University of Montana and an MS in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining AASLH he worked as an archivist for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Rey also served as an intern and student worker at several libraries and museums while working on his Master’s degree and before that spent several years as a salesman for a minor league baseball team. He once appeared on the game show Jeopardy. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about history, playing board games, and watching baseball.

Rey Regenstreif-Harms

Membership &

Development Manager


Originally from Flint, Michigan, Albert Samuels joins AASLH in Nashville, Tennessee with 15 years of professional marketing experience. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University and has influenced customer decisions for several regional and national restaurant and retail chains. As the Senior Manager, Marketing and Membership at AASLH, Albert will provide overall strategic and operational leadership for marketing and communications efforts targeted to various audiences. In his spare time, Albert enjoys watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, and searching for the best tacos Nashville has to offer… wait, the best fries Nashville has to offer. Let’s just say that Albert likes food.

Albert Samuels

Senior Manager, Marketing and Membership