March 28, 2024 | I Am St. Louis and I Don't Think We Have Met

Dr. Jody Sowell, President & CEO Missouri Historical Society
Dr. Jody Sowell, Missouri Historical Society, President and CEO

Dr. Jody Sowell serves as the seventh president in the 156-year history of the Missouri Historical Society. Though new to the position – he was appointed in July 2022 – Jody is hardly new to MHS or to St. Louis. He has worked at MHS for 16 years and has lived in St. Louis for 19.

Jody has served in several roles in his time at MHS. As Oral Historian, he conducted interviews with test pilots, air hostesses, and NASA’s first aerospace nurse for an exhibit about St. Louis’s aviation history. As Public Historian, Jody became one of the primary spokespeople for the institution, leading tours, giving presentations, and recording Here’s History segments for KDHX radio. As Director of Exhibitions & Research, Jody and his team opened 8 of the 10 most visited exhibits in MHS’ history, including the exhibit that commemorated St. Louis’ 250th birthday. As Managing Director of Public History, he led the education, programing, publications, communications, evaluation, public history, and exhibits teams. As President, Jody will oversee one of the biggest transformations in MHS history with three new core galleries planned for the decade ahead and with plans to share more of the MHS collection than has ever been shared before.

Prior to MHS, Jody was an academic and a journalist. He was assistant professor of journalism at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and has served as an adjunct professor at Fontbonne University, Washington University, and Saint Louis University. He continues to teach at SLU, which is where he earned his doctorate in American Studies. Jody started his career as a journalist, working as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News and as an editor at the Columbia Missourian.

Jody regularly speaks about the power of public history, how to connect people to their shared past, and how St. Louisans can use their past to help build a better future for the region. He appears every week on KMOV’s CBS Sunday Morning in his popular STL History Minute segments.