Alexandra Lord received her BA from Vassar College and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin. In 1995, Lord won the Richard Shryock Award from the American Association for the History of Medicine, as well as a post-doctoral fellowship for the history of medicine from the University of California, San Francisco. After leaving a tenure-track position at Montana State University in 1998, Lord held a visiting professorship at SUNY-New Paltz. In 2001, she became the staff historian for the Office of the US Public Health Service Historian and in 2008, she joined the National Park Service as the Branch Chief of the National Historic Landmarks Program. Since 2015, she has overseen the Division of Medicine and Science at the National Museum of American History (Smithsonian).
In 2010, the British Medical Association awarded Lord’s book, Condom Nation: The US Government’s Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet (Johns Hopkins University), its prize for the best popular book on medicine as well as its prize for the best book furthering understanding of science and medicine among the general public. She has published articles on British and American history in a variety of academic journals and since 2005, she has frequently written about the historical profession for The Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2013, she was solicited to be one of the writers for the Chronicle’s PhD Placement Project. She has published and spoken on topics ranging from early modern medical theories of menstruation to the history of bioterrorism at places ranging from the History Channel to academic conferences, Ellis Island, Planned Parenthood, universities, and other venues. An active public historian, Lord served as the president of the National Council on Public History between 2016 and 2018. For the past fifteen years, she has run the public history website, Beyond Academe.