During a session at the Organization of American Historians (OAH) annual meeting last week, it was revealed that both the Chief Historian and Bureau Historian positions at the National Park Service (NPS) remain vacant, with no clear date set for when they will be filled. Dr. Martin Perschler, Acting Manager of the Park History Program at the NPS, provided this update to the OAH Committee on National Park Service Issues. The application period for the Chief Historian position had closed on February 3, however it was reopened with a new closing date of April 3. No reason was given for re-posting the position. Those who applied in the first round remain eligible for consideration. Approximately 45 people applied for the position.
The failure to fill the Chief Historian slot in a timely manner has also impacted the vacant Bureau Historian position. Since the Bureau Historian works closely with the Chief Historian, it is felt by NPS officials that the new Chief Historian should have the prerogative of filling this key position.