Donna Sinclair is an adjunct History professor with Washington State University Vancouver, an
author, and member of the Washougal School District Board of Education and a precinct
committee officer (PCO) for precinct 912. She has worked as a public historian since the late
1990s, and has written about the Vancouver National Historic Reserve and Columbia River
History, as well as the U.S. Forest Service. She is a former director of the Oregon Historical
Society Oral History Program, and managed oral history programs for the U.S. District Court of
Oregon and Reed College. She is currently working with the National Park Service to write a
history of Vancouver Barracks.
Donna Sinclair earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University Vancouver
(WSUV) while raising three children as a single parent. She went on to obtain a Master’s in
History and Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University (PSU). Sinclair has taught
public service courses at PSU, as well as courses in Lewis and Clark in the American West. She
now teaches U.S. History, Pacific Northwest History, and Public History at WSUV.
Donna’s experience extends beyond the college classroom to raising children in the Vancouver,
Camas, and Washougal school districts, and to public service. Because of her passion for
education, she is strongly committed to ensuring that all students have access to quality
schools. She believes that student success requires teachers to have the resources they need,
from appropriate class sizes to the tools, training, and assistants that make their jobs possible.
Donna served on the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Education Committee from 2008-
2011, and also developed teacher workshops through the Center for Columbia River History
and in collaboration with ESD 112.
Her community service has centered around education, professional associations, and
mentoring students. She was appointed to the Washougal Planning Commission in June 2017.
Donna has received several awards, including:
- Awards from the U.S. Forest Service for her work in documenting the histories of former
Forest Service workers.
- Awards from professional historical organizations
- the K’Et’Si-Yeu- Yeu Award from the Nez Perce Tribe for documenting the incarceration of the
Red Heart Band at Vancouver from August 1877 to April 22, 1878. Her work led to the annual
Red Heart commemoration.