Staff Directory

Center for the Constitution


Jen Patja HowellDirector of Digital Publishing
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Jennifer Patja Howell is the Director of Digital Publishing for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, where she oversees the development of online initiatives. Over the last decade, Jen has worked in higher education through teaching and research positions in the University of Virginia’s Department of Sociology, and in civic education with the Center for Civic Education and Montpelier. Her career highlights include launching Montpelier’s online ConText project, developing and directing the Center's law enforcement and international programs, and coordinating the DC We the People program. In 2013, she was selected to participate in The Frontier Project's Women's Leadership Series through Frontier Academy. Jen has also worked as a freelance editor for over 13 years, specializing in academic, nonfiction books and marketing collateral. She received her master’s in Sociology from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s in English from the University of California, Berkeley.


Susan SimpsonProgram Manager
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Susan Simpson is the Program Manager for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier.  In this role, Susan manages the Montpelier Seminars for Teachers, seminars for Law Enforcement Officers, and programs for International Visitors.  Susan also manages logistics for most on-site programs.  In addition to this work, Susan serves as the primary guide for Center for the Constitution tours of the Montpelier mansion, provides research assistance for special projects, and is responsible for evaluating the impact of the Center's programs.  Outside of the Center, Susan served for five years as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and has been a guest speaker in her daughters' history and drama classes.  Susan received her B.A. in History from George Mason University in 1997, focusing on Early American History and International Studies.  She came to Montpelier in 2007 working first as a guide in the mansion before joining the Center in 2009.   


C. Douglas SmithVice President, The Montpelier Foundation
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Doug Smith is a non-profit executive with extensive experience in civic engagement and program growth and currently serves at the Vice President of The Montpelier Foundation overseeing its Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution working to build constitutional democracy here and abroad.  He is the former CEO & President of a public interest public policy group where he led an eight-year effort to create one of the most well known state-based policy centers in the country, which included government relations, micro-enterprise development, and the incubation of several new organizations.  Doug was formerly on staff with an international relief organization in Geneva, Switzerland and has served as Senior Web Strategist for a dot com. He is a graduate of James Madison University (B.S.), Lexington Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and in 2005 was named a Fellow of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Heifer International and received such awards as the "Top 40 under 40" in Central Virginia, the Richmond History Makers Award, and was named a "World Changer" by his alma mater.  He serves on the board of James Madison University's School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Mary Washington University's Center for Honor, Leadership, & Service. He and his family live in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Lynn UzzellScholar in Residence
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Dr. Lynn Uzzell received her Ph.D. in politics at the University of Dallas and bachelors degree at Black Hills State University. She has taught extensively about the Constitution and is an expert on the Constitutional Convention. Dr. Uzzell was a post-doctoral fellow in the Constitutionalism and Democracy Program at the University of Virginia and is serving as Veritas Fund Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the John Marshall Center for the Study of Statesmanship in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. She is currently the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution's Scholar in Residence.  



Emily Voss, Education & Outreach Manager
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Emily Voss is the Education and Outreach Manager for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution. In this role, Emily manages the Virginia and Washington, DC We the People programs, works with the Center’s partner groups, and develops and directs programs for the Center’s audiences. Emily came to Montpelier from Cooperstown, NY, where she spent four years as the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum's Manager of On-Site Learning. Previously, Emily was with the Discover Portsmouth Center in New Hampshire, and has worked with the Vermont Historical Society, Missouri Historical Society, and Colonial Williamsburg, giving her a rich range of experiences and skills in training adult professionals. Emily earned a BA in History from Gettysburg College and an MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.