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A National Archives of the Future

In his State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama said, “We can’t win the future with a government of the past.” He called for a reorganization of government to give the people “a government that’s more competent & more efficient.”

At the National Archives, we are meeting the President’s call to action. Charting the Course is our plan for reinventing the National Archives to meet the demands we face in the digital age.

Our plan was developed with the help of over 40 staff members working on the Transformation Launch Team & in consultation with hundreds of National Archives’ staff. It represents the changes we must make to better serve the American people.

How are we going to become more competent and more efficient?

We’re creating a new culture based on common values at the National Archives. We’re restructuring the agency to better serve the American people & the government. & we are living the principles of Open Government — transparency, participation, & collaboration.

The chart below represents the future structure of the National Archives. This is not a “rearrangement of the deck chairs,” but a bold new way of positioning ourselves to face the future.


While the full story is told in Charting the Course, here are just a few of the new offices and positions you should expect to see at the National Archives in the future:

  • Research Services will combine two separate offices to create one service for researchers accessing the records of the National Archives.
  • Information Services will spark creativity & develop innovative tools that help people discover the records of the National Archives.
  • The Chief Records Officer will lead records management throughout the Federal government with an emphasis on electronic records.
  • The Chief Operating Officer will provide operational leadership to the agency.
  • The Human Capital Office will drive employee engagement by investing in our staff and their development.
  • Business Support Services will help our agency function with efficiency by providing the services that staff need to do their work.

We’ve thought carefully about these & the many other changes that will improve our services to you. We’ve also thought carefully about our different customer groups so that we can align the National Archives to meet each of your needs.

Over 75 years ago, the National Archives was created because we — as a nation — recognized the crucial role records play in our democracy. The changes we are making will ensure that we uphold our fundamental role in safeguarding, preserving, and providing access to the records of our government.

We will be moving quickly to implement our plan and I am will welcome your comments on Charting the Course below. I am hope to hear from you as the changes take effect at the National Archives.


Updated: February 3, 2011 — 4:17 pm

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