Cast of Characters
A New U.S. Archivist: David Ferriero
By Al Kamen
President Obama is said to have picked David S. Ferriero, now chief executive of the research libraries at The New York Public Library, to be the Archivist of the United States, a post that includes making sure that highly sensitive presidential papers and electronic records are saved and made available to the public. The selection, which had been rumored among historians, was reported earlier today by the National Coalition for History's newsletter. A spokesman for The New York Public Library declined to comment.
Before his New York job, Ferriero had been Duke University's librarian and had worked for 31 years before that in the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies libraries.
He succeeds Allen Weinstein, who resigned for health reasons in December.
The archivist job has become something of a lightning rod for controversy, particularly as various agencies and administrations press for keeping their records secret for decades despite strong pressures from historians and the public to declassify as much information as soon as possible.
The news comes two days before a scheduled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the National Archives and the lack of a permanent archivist. The panel intends to question acting Archive officials about the disappearance of computer disks with information from the Clinton administration, including Social Security numbers of several White House staffers and one of Al Gore's daughters.
Posted at 1:17 PM ET on Jul 28, 2009
Cast of Characters
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