Noem names new State Historian and Director of Historical Society
PIERRE, S.D. — Governor Kristi Noem has appointed Ben Jones, currently the Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education, to serve as State Historian and Director of the South Dakota State Historical Society.
“Ben has been a dedicated leader of the Department of Education,” said Governor Noem. “He has supported students and educators alike, working with schools on improving opportunities and outcomes in our K-12 schools. The South Dakota Historical Society will benefit tremendously from his experience and expertise.”
Jones was born in Sioux Falls, grew up in De Smet, and after graduating from S.D.S.U., served as a U.S. Air Force officer for 23 years before returning to South Dakota. He has a master’s in History from the University of Nebraska, as well as a Ph.D. in History from the University of Kansas.
“I am looking forward to stepping into this new role serving South Dakota,” said Jones. “Leading the Department of Education has been extremely rewarding. The Department’s people are deeply committed to students and their education; to supporting local libraries; and to making South Dakota’s compelling history more widely available. Now I look forward to being South Dakota’s Historian and working with the Society’s Trustees and members, universities, researchers, authors, archeologists, preservationists, and the public in preserving, promoting, and explaining our state’s history.”
Jones, whose appointment will take effect on December 9, is replacing Jay Vogt. Vogt has served as the Director of the Historical Society since 2003.
Information on how to become a member of the South Dakota State Historical Society can be found here.