About the National Archives

Welcome to the annual Archivist's Awards Ceremony 2014

Adrienne C. Thomas Auditorium at National Archives at College Park May 7, 2014

Who is the Archivist?

David S. Ferriero

David S. Ferriero The Archivist of the United States is the head of our agency, appointed by the President of the United States.

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And Happy Public Service Recognition Week to all. We deliberately moved our awards ceremony to coincide with the government-wide recognition and celebration of all the contributions of Federal employees.

Senate Resolution 397 passed on the 25th of March expresses the sense of the Senate that "public servants should be commended for their dedication and continued service to the United States. Public Service Recognition Week provides an opportunity to recognize and promote the important contributions of public servants and honor the diverse men and women who meet the needs of the United States through work at all levels of government. Public service is a noble calling and our government is responsive, innovative, and effective because of the outstanding work of public servants."

Despite the challenges of the past year--sequestration, the government shutdown, and other obstacles we have had to face, you rose to the occasion and did some extraordinary work. In fact almost 90 nominations were submitted—setting a new record. And we have some remarkable achievements to be acknowledged here today. For me, every week is Public Service Recognition Week and I have come to look forward to this one day when we celebrate you special accomplishments. You are all winners based on feedback supplied by our customers--the day-to-day work that doesn't always get heralded. Here are some of the terrific things customers have to say about you:

  • An IRS agent was "taken aback by the professionalism and personal attention she received" at San Bruno. And another IRS person praised the FRC staff in Boston, Pittsfield, Seattle, and Lee's Summit who "really went the extra mile to locate some very old Form 1120s––corporate tax returns."
  • A  Department of Commerce records officer wrote: "Thank you again for coming and providing ERA training. You did fantastic, and the feedback was very good…. You are welcome to come back any time."
  • At the National Personnel Records Center, a daughter searching for the military records of her late father wrote that "it is apparent you did a great deal of research in compiling all of the documents. I commend you on your dedication and commitment to your profession."
  • A researcher at the Clinton Library commented that he had "never before encountered archivists as solicitous and helpful as you."
  • A Department of Labor records officer commented that [your] "assistance in bringing not only 1 but 4 KA classes to our department here in DC has facilitated our 26 assigned Records Officers … in meeting their certification requirements by the end of 2014. Our Department is very grateful for the outstanding support received and making this happen."
  • And one more… A researcher at the Truman Library wrote "What a great job you all are doing there at the wonderful place you work....I really look forward to the next chance I get to do research there.  Thank you for what has been a very meaningful experience for me."

And this is just a sampling of the compliments we receive from our customers! Thank you for what you do and keep up the good work!
Now before we get started on this year's awards, I would like to take a moment to remember our five colleagues who passed away this past year: Cheryl Fuscher, Jane Long, Marion Whalen, Barbara Bauman, and Jim Herring. Let's acknowledge their contributions to the work of the National Archives…

At the Conclusion of the awards ceremony:

Let me add my congratulations to this year's recipients. Thank you for protecting, describing, processing, preserving, researching, declassifying, managing, digitizing, exhibiting, and promoting our records and for supporting our staff in all that they do.

As you all know we have amazing records in our holdings, but I want you to realize that the most important treasure at the National Archives is you, the staff. None of this would be possible without you. Thank you for your service today and every day.

As I am speaking, a NARA Notice is makings its way into your mailboxes to let you know that in honor of you Public Service, I am granting four hours of administrative leave to all employees to be taken sometime during this pay period.  The Notice will provide details about supervisor approval and recording of time.

Thanks again for you many contributions.  I am very proud to work and serve with you.