Trudy Huskamp Peterson
Trudy Huskamp Peterson, photograph taken 3/9/1988
|(Acting) Archivist of the United States|
March 25, 1993 – May 29, 1995
|Preceded by||Don W. Wilson|
|Succeeded by||John W. Carlin|
|Born||January 25, 1945|
Palo Alto County, Iowa
|Education||Iowa State University|
University of Iowa
Trudy Huskamp Peterson (born January 25, 1945) is first woman to hold the position Archivist of the United States. She was the Acting Archivist of the United States from March 25, 1993 to May 29, 1995.
Peterson earned her B.S. in English and History from Iowa State University in 1967, an M.A. in U.S. History from the University of Iowa in 1972 and a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Iowa in 1975. She gained certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists in 1989.
In 1967, Peterson joined the National Archives, becoming Assistant Archivist in 1987 and Acting Archivist in 1993. She has started her own archival consulting company where she has been a consulting archivist since 2002. Some of her clients include: the Truth Commissions in South Africa and Honduras, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Nuclear Claims Tribunal of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and training Guatemalans working with the newly discovered Police Archives on Standard Archival Techniques.
Actively involved in the many archival organizations, Peterson served a term as Society of American Archivists President, 1990–1991; on its Council, 1984–1987; and on the editorial board of The American Archivist, 1978–1981. Additionally, she was the Founding Executive Director of the Open Society Archives in Budapest, Hungary, where she mentored a young Sebastian Gorka. She served as the Director of Archives and Records Management for the United Nations, and the High Commissioner for refugees in Geneva, Switzerland. She was also Vice-President of the International Council on Archives, 1993–1995, and Vice-Chair of its Commission on Program Support, 1996–2000.
Shortly before Trudy Huskamp Peterson's tenure as Archivist of the United States, the agency was accused of mismanagement and neglect as far as the records they maintained. Just three months into her tenure, the agency lost a ruling which stated that they "failed to preserve and protect computer tapes made during the Reagan and Bush administrations. As a result of this, Peterson addressed the concerns in several different ways. She was able to implement a strategic management plan to address the declassification policy of Federal Records, as well as to plan for future needs regarding space. Peterson also helped to streamline the work force, and implemented open forum discussions where employees could address their concerns with her directly.
In 2019, Trudy Huskamp Peterson was the recipient of the Emmett Leahy Award for her "sustained international leadership over the past several decades."
Don W. Wilson
| Archivist of the United States
John W. Carlin