Our Officers

Frank J. Williams, Co-Chairman


Frank J. Williams, Founding Chairman of the Lincoln Forum, is Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (Ret.), and one of the nation’s most prominent authorities, collectors, and leaders in the Lincoln field. He served for 12 years as president of the Lincoln Group of Boston, for nine as president of the Abraham Lincoln Association, and has been chairman of the Forum since its inception, all while working as well as president of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. The author or editor of more than a dozen books, he is also a popular lecturer whose papers have appeared in several books,  including We Cannot Escape History and The Lincoln Forum series.  Williams co-edited Abraham Lincoln: Sources and Style of Leadership and Abraham Lincoln: Contemporary, and with Harold Holzer, authored Lincolns Deathbed in Art and, Memory: The Rubber Room Phenomenon. In addition to Judging Lincoln, a collection of his essays, and The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (co-authored with Harold Holzer and Edna Greene Medford.) Williams most recently co-edited The Mary Lincoln Enigma and authored Lincoln as Hero in the SIU Press “Concise Lincoln” Series. A former member of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and its successor organization, The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, he lives with his wife Virginia in Hope Valley, RI.

Harold Holzer, Co-Chairman


Harold Holzer (www.haroldholzer.com), who served as Chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, has authored, co-authored, and edited 52 books on the Lincoln era, including  The Lincoln Image, Lincoln on Democracy  (with Mario Cuomo), Lincoln: President-Elect, and Lincoln:  How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America, the official young reader’s companion book to the 2012 Steven Spielberg movie, for which Harold served as script consultant. His more than 500 articles for popular and scholarly publications include regular appearances in  American HeritageCivil  War Times,  and  many other publications.  Holzer’s book,  Lincoln At Cooper Union:   The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President (2004), won a second-place Lincoln Prize and other awards. His 2014 book, Lincoln and the Power of the Press, won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, and five additional awards. A frequent guest on TV and a popular lecturer who has partnered with such actors as Sam Waterston at venues including the White House, Harold won a 2008 National Humanities Medal from President Bush. Following 23 years as Senior Vice President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he now serves as Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Harold and Edith, his wife of 45 years, live in Rye, NY. They have two grown daughters and a grandson.

Henry F. Ballone, Treasurer


After longtime service as volunteer “official photojournalist” of the Lincoln Forum (and many other related organizations and events—the results of which are all posted on his website, www.civilwarnut.com), Hank now serves as Treasurer and graphic designer of the Lincoln Forum Bulletin, Advisory Board member, and as a lifetime member since 2002. Hank is a retired businessman (his company made film for printers) who has also served as president of the Lincoln Group of New York and member of the New Jersey Civil War 150th Anniversary Committee, for which he designed  several books about the Garden State’s role in the war. Hank, who lives in Saddle Brook with Eileen, his wife of 47 years, was an officer in the 104th Engineer Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard.

Betty Anselmo, Administrator


Betty Anselmo teaches U.S. History Honors and Law in the social studies department at Tiverton High School in Tiverton, R.I. She served as a mock trial coach for five years, during which time her school earned state titles for two years. In conjunction with the world language department, Mrs. Anselmo travels with students to foreign countries every other April. They have just visited Lisbon, Portugal.  Mrs. Anselmo earned an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Bristol Community College in 1977 and received the Director’s  Special  Award for  the highest GPA  in the Criminal Justice Program. In 1997, she graduated from The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and was also recognized as having the highest GPA in History, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Continuing Education. The Massachusetts State Senate also recognized Mrs. Anselmo’s scholastic achievement with an official citation. Mrs. Anselmo joined The Lincoln Forum in 1996, and became the Administrator in 2007. She lives in her hometown of Tiverton, RI.

Pat Dougal, Assistant Administrator


Longtime member and newly relocated Pennsylvania resident Patricia (“Pat”) Dougal has assumed the role of Assistant Administrator, working alongside Betty Anselmo. Baltimore native Pat, a graduate of the University of Maryland, served 20 years in the Navy Nurse Corps, where her tours included a stint on a hospital ship during the Vietnam War. Since retiring with the rank of Commander, Pat has been a health services consultant and a docent at Robert Todd Lincoln’s “Hildene,” where she first met Frank and Virginia Williams–who immediately recruited her as a Forum member.

Edna Greene Medford, Executive Committee


Edna Greene Medford is a professor of history and chairperson of the department of history at Howard University in Washington, DC. She teaches graduate courses in Civil War and Reconstruction and Jacksonian America, along with survey courses in African American history. She is the co-author of the book, The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views, and has authored more than two dozen book chapters and articles on Lincoln, African Americans, and wartime policies. She has appeared regularly on C-SPAN and has been featured in documentaries on the History  Channel  and in independent productions,  as well as in videos on Lincoln,  the Civil War, and emancipation produced by the Smithsonian. She is the 2013 recipient of the Professor of the Year Award from the Howard University Student Association, and the Graduate Professor of the Year Award (Howard University Graduate Student Assembly) in 2006. Her latest book is Lincoln and Emancipation.

Craig L. Symonds, Executive Committee


Craig L. Symonds, professor of history emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy was, until recently, the chief historian of the U.S.S. Monitor Center at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.  He is the author of Lincoln and His Admirals, which won the 2009 Lincoln Prize, the culmination of three decades of study of the Civil War navies and the Union’s admiral-in-chief. His previous books include biographies of Joseph E. Johnston and Patrick Cleburne, and the American Heritage history of the Battle of Gettysburg along with a book about the Battle of Midway.  Symonds won the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt award for best book on naval history for his Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History and later published Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings.  His most recent book is The U.S. Navy:  A Concise History, and he is working on a new study about the U. S. Navy in World War II.




George Buss, Executive Committee


George Buss serves AVID schools in Illinois and Iowa in his current role as Program Manager for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). His work with students in Freeport District 145 is recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Education Association. He was also named an Outstanding Young Educator by the Freeport Jaycees and is featured in AVID: 25 years–25 Stories. For nearly a quarter century George has been interpreting Abraham Lincoln, appearing nationally.  His work has been seen on C-SPAN, The Illinois Channel and local cable affiliates and was featured in Smithsonian Magazine. George is president of the Stephen Douglas Association, vice president of the Lincoln-Douglas Society, and board member of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin. He is also curator of the exhibit Out from the Shadow of Lincoln: Stephen A. Douglas, from his own collection of Douglas images, artifacts, and primary source documents. The exhibit continues touring the Midwest since its debut in 2008. Buss is also an expert on Stephen Douglas art and iconography. He has degrees from Ball State University and National-Louis University. He and his wife Mona reside in Freeport, IL, and are the parents of two sons, Jordan, serving in the United States Navy, and Jason, a senior at Western Illinois University.