STATEMENT TO NARA STAFF FROM ARCHIVIST OF THE US DAVID FERRIERO ANNOUNCING HIS RETIREMENT
After 12 years as the 10th Archivist of the United States, I have decided to retire, effective mid-April 2022. Deputy Archivist Debra Steidel Wall will serve as Acting Archivist until the President nominates and the Senate confirms my successor.
As I wrote to President Biden, it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve my country once more, this time to lead the Executive Branch agency charged with ensuring that the American people can hold their government accountable and learn from the past by accessing the records of our country. My time here has been filled with opportunities, challenges, and awesome responsibilities. Over the past several months, as I contemplated retirement and reflected on my time with you, I am humbled and awestruck and so deeply grateful—grateful to all of you.
I’m extraordinarily proud of what we have accomplished together during my tenure and hope that you too take pride in our efforts and results.
We have become a leader in the government’s transition to a digital future, electronic records management, and the principles of Open Government. We’ve served our customers in new and innovative ways, including increasing public access and engagement through the online catalog and social media; streamlining how we serve veterans; expanding access to museums, exhibits, and public programs in person and virtually; and establishing civic literacy initiatives. We’ve fostered strong relationships with partner organizations, and increased outreach to traditional and new stakeholders. Throughout, we’ve put the customer at the center of all that we do.
I’ve said many times that our employees are the real treasures of the National Archives.
I’ve tried to serve you well by fostering a collaborative approach to leadership and engaging you in sustained efforts to build a positive workplace culture that values creativity, civility, openness, diversity, and inclusion.
As Archivist, I’ve had the pleasure and honor to work with a team of highly talented and committed leaders at all levels of this agency in delivering transformational initiatives, improving our organizational effectiveness, and, most importantly, keeping you safe during this pandemic while still carrying out our responsibilities. I am confident that they will continue to work together and with the next Archivist to support you and the work of the agency.
It is not easy to leave you with our important work continuing, especially initiatives to foster equity and enhance the employee and customer experiences. However, our profession is one of stewardship, where despite our enduring responsibilities, we are here for what amounts to a brief period of time. We have come a long way since 1934, and we have made great strides in the last 12 years, but the need for thoughtful and deliberate progress and transformation remains. As the Archivist of the United States, I know that you will build on our work together in ways I cannot imagine. As a citizen and veteran, I am thankful that you will continue the noble work of the National Archives and Records Administration with skill, passion, and resiliency.
Thank you for your talents and for your dedication to our mission. I wish you all the very best for the future and remarkable personal and professional success in the years ahead.
DAVID S. FERRIERO
Archivist of the United States