Press/Journalists

Ferriero to Retire as Archivist of the United States
Press Release · Thursday, January 13, 2022

Washington, DC

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will retire from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), effective mid-April 2022. He has served as the tenth Archivist of the United States, since November 6, 2009. 

In his 12 years at the helm, Ferriero oversaw the transformation of the National Archives into a leader in the government’s transition to a digital future, electronic records management, and the principles of Open Government. Under his leadership, NARA served its customers in new and innovative ways, including increasing public access and engagement through an online catalog and social media; streamlining how it served veterans; expanding access to museums, exhibits, and public programs in person and virtually; and establishing civic literacy initiatives. The National Archives fostered strong relationships with partner organizations, and increased outreach to traditional and new stakeholders. Throughout, Ferriero made sure to put the customer at the center of all that NARA does. 

President Joe Biden expressed his gratitude for Ferriero’s dedication and service.

“Jill and I send heartfelt congratulations to Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero on the announcement of his retirement,” Biden said. “Since his confirmation as Archivist in 2009, David has served with distinction, working closely with sitting and former presidents, and across the federal government, to ensure that our nation’s story is preserved and made available to future generations of Americans. From the administration of presidential libraries to undertaking initiatives to promote broader access to the Archives, David’s important work will benefit generations of Americans for decades to come.”

Ferriero was appointed to his position by former President Barack Obama, who praised his continuing service. 

“Over the past 12 years, David Ferriero has guided the National Archives into the 21st century, and our democracy is stronger as a result. David knows better than anyone that good recordkeeping is the backbone of open government, and under his leadership the National Archives was able to give these records new life through increased access and engagement with the American people,” Obama said. “Thanks to his dedication, we are better equipped to draw from our past as we work to forge a brighter future. Michelle and I wish David and his family the best as they embark on this next chapter.”

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, also expressed her appreciation for Ferriero’s tenure.  

“Archivist David Ferriero led the National Archives during a critical period in our nation’s history, and I am incredibly grateful for his service,” Maloney said. “He spearheaded landmark efforts to ensure government records are preserved electronically and worked with the Oversight Committee on important investigations involving preservation of White House and agency materials and public access to records. Our government is more transparent, and our nation’s historical record is more complete for future generations, because of David Ferriero’s leadership.” 

NARA’s Chief Innovation Officer Pamela Wright reflected on the impact Ferriero’s  leadership had on the agency.

“David Ferriero’s contributions to the National Archives have been extraordinarily progressive. He leaves a modernized organization that has become a trusted partner and leader in the digital arena,” Wright said. “He is a wonderful mentor, and many leaders in the agency learned from his example.”

Senior officials responsible for records management in other federal agencies also expressed their appreciation for Ferriero’s service.

Ann Dunkin, currently the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and former CIO of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), noted the important role Ferriero played in the records management field.

“I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the Archivist and his team during my time at both EPA and DOE. His leadership throughout his tenure has been remarkable but especially so in propelling the federal government’s digital transformation,” Dunkin said. “His work to modernize electronic records management will leave a lasting legacy.”  

Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, also praised Ferriero’s work in advancing digital transformation.

“The Archivist’s leadership in advancing and expanding federal records management has been remarkable, especially in propelling the government’s digital transformation and elevating the status of records management by promoting the work of the Senior Agency Officials for Records Management,” Chao said.

Former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard, Chairman of the National Archives Foundation, noted the contributions Ferriero made to America’s democracy through educational and civics programs.

“David Ferriero has been an outstanding National Archivist and a devoted advocate for our American heritage and our time-honored democratic institutions,” Blanchard said. “He has protected our Constitution and laws at a time when others questioned them or took them for granted. He has been dedicated to increasing transparency and civic literacy. Under his leadership the National Archives expanded its education and exhibit programs to address challenging issues and stressed the importance of public engagement in our nation’s civic process. At our National Archives Foundation we will be losing a valued partner and friend. David is also a leader of archivists world-wide and his leadership will be missed.”

Ferriero’s departure comes as the National Archives is deepening its commitments to access, equity, and customer experience. 

“We aim to continue down the path that David Ferriero has begun,” remarked NARA’s Deputy Archivist Debra Steidel Wall. “The National Archives’ latest Strategic Plan is dedicated to advancing equity and improving service delivery by connecting with and providing access to underserved and underrepresented communities. And while we are extraordinarily sad to see the Archivist depart, we could not be more grateful for his remarkable vision and exceptional leadership.”

Looking back on his tenure, Ferriero said he was happy with the progress made during his tenure and expressed gratitude to NARA’s employees for their dedication and hard work.

“My time at the National Archives gave me the opportunity to bring openness, access, and inclusion to the agency,” said Ferriero. “Working with such gifted and talented staff who are dedicated to preserving our nation’s records and its heritage has been a great honor and the highlight of my career. It is with gratitude for the staff at the National Archives, especially my Management Team, that I have pride in what we have all accomplished together.”

Wall will serve as acting Archivist of the United States until the President nominates and the Senate confirms Ferriero’s successor.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public and Media Communications Staff at 202-357-5300.

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This page was last reviewed on January 13, 2022.
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