David A. Joens MA ’95 PAA, MA ’00 LAS

David A. JoensDavid A. Joens worked on the Illinois Senate Democratic staff for seven years. A U. S Army veteran and former newspaper reporter, he was a press secretary for Democratic members of the Senate, including the Senate’s Black Caucus. In 1996 he began work as the Assistant Director of the Illinois Legislative Studies Center at the University of Illinois Springfield, where he authored two Almanac of Illinois Politics books. In 2000 he moved to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, where he worked for four years on policy staff. In 2004 he was picked by Secretary White to serve as the fifth director of the Illinois State Archives, a position he holds today.

Gove Hall of Fame Inductees
Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame Inductees from left: Mark Denzler, Marcilene Dutton, DeShana L. Forney, David A. Joens

He was inducted into the Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame for his outstanding public service. David was honored at the Old State Capitol in Springfield on March 12, 2018 alongside three other former interns: Mark Denzler, Marcilene Dutton and DeShana L. Forney.

Joens has an undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University, two Master’s degrees from the University of Illinois Springfield, and a Doctorate in Illinois history from Southern Illinois University. In 2012 he authored the book From Slave to State Legislator: John W. E. Thomas, Illinois First African American Lawmaker.

Joens is married to Mona Martin, who is also a former legislative staff intern and who was inducted in the Samuel K. Gove Hall of Fame in 2013. They live in Springfield and are the parents of one son, Benjamin.