The American Plate

Welcome to my website, the online home for The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites. The site is dedicated to themes of history and all things related to food, from ancient maize to contemporary food trends. Images of gardens, architecture, and art will weave in and out, and guests will make an occasional appearance.


Chief Historian, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility,

 History Channel and A+E Networks


Libby O’Connell oversees corporate and educational outreach for A+E Networks, including HISTORY, A&E, H2, and FYI.  She also serves as Chief Historian for HISTORY. Dr. O’Connell executive-produces on site films for organizations such as the Smithsonian, Ellis Island, and Gettysburg, which History donates as part of its commitment to corporate citizenship. Dr. O’Connell developed Mission to Honor: the Veterans Campaign, Take a Veteran to School Day, and Save Our History, three corporate initiatives that have been recognized by the White House as well as the Mayor’s Office for City of New York. In 2013, she announced a new campaign for A&E, Project Start Up, which encourages new entrepreneurs and original business concepts. She has received three EMMYS for her work in television, and appears on national TV as a guest commentator. In 2007, she received a Vanguard Award from the NCTA, Cable’s highest honor, for her work in public affairs.

Dr. O'Connell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia after graduating from Tufts University magna cum laude. She serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and National History Day. In 2013, the White House appointed her as a commissioner on the United States World War I Centennial Commission.  

Libby O’Connell has been happily married to Matt O’Connell forever, and has two adult children, Charlie who lives in Singapore, and Lucy who lives in San Francisco. Growing up, her family traveled extensively, and she has maintained that fascination with international cultures.  She loves gardening, cooking, music, books, and walking her dogs with friends. 

EMMY –award winning producer, preservationist, and cultural historian, Dr. O'Connell is also the author of The American Plate: A History of the United States in 100 Bites, published in November 2014.