Debra Steidel Wall became Acting Archivist of the United States in May 2022 upon the retirement of 10th Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. She has served as Deputy Archivist of the United States since July 2011, and previously served as the agency’s Chief of Staff (2008-2011), as Senior Special Assistant to the Archivist (2005-2007), and before that as Director of the Lifecycle Coordination Staff, where she led staff responsible for developing policies, processes, systems and standards relating to the life cycle of records. She was the initial program manager of the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) database and other archival information technology projects, was Deputy Director of the Information Resources Policy and Projects Division, and worked as an archivist in the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video unit.
Debra joined NARA in 1991 as an archivist trainee and holds an undergraduate degree in history and government from Georgetown University, and a graduate degree in film from the American University. She has a master’s certificate in information technology project management from George Washington University, and has served as a member of the International Council on Archives (ICA) Committee on Information Technology and Committee on Descriptive Standards. She serves as NARA’s representative on the Congressional Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.
Areas of special focus include archival description and metadata, digitizing for public access, electronic records and digital preservation, and employee engagement.