Obama picks Ferriero to head NARA

The president wants David Ferriero to be the new archivist

President Barack Obama has announced that he plans to nominate David Ferriero to head the National Archives and Records Administration, White House officials have said.

If confirmed as the new U.S. Archivist, Ferriero would be responsible for working to improve how the government tracks and maintains its electronic records. NARA is putting in place its next-generation Electronic Records Archive system, estimated to cost more than $550 million.

Ferriero currently serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries where he is responsible for the libraries’ collection strategy, conservation efforts, digital experience and research services, as well as education, programming and exhibitions, the officials said July 28.

The previous archivist, Allen Weinstein, resigned in December 2008 after having served since 2005. Since then, Deputy Archivist Adrienne Thomas has been acting as NARA's head.

Patrice McDermott, director of OpenTheGovernment.org, said Ferriero is highly regarded by the library community.

“We are hopeful from the fact that he has apparently a deep understanding of [information technology] and because he comes from the library community he has a deep understanding of the importance of public access to information, and of course government information in particular,” McDermott said.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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