North­eastern Uni­ver­sity alumnus David S. Fer­riero, ’72, MA’76, has been nom­i­nated by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to the posi­tion of Archivist of the United States. Cur­rently serving as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries, Fer­riero received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture from Northeastern.

Upon the Senate’s con­fir­ma­tion, Fer­riero, a Bev­erly, Mass­a­chu­setts native, will become the tenth archivist since Pres­i­dent Franklin Roo­sevelt estab­lished the National Archives, the nation’s largest record keeper, in 1934. As Archivist of the United States, Fer­riero would oversee the main­te­nance and man­age­ment of public records and be respon­sible for releasing gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments, including pres­i­den­tial papers.

He is the second North­eastern alumnus to be tapped for a posi­tion in the Obama admin­is­tra­tion. In May, Winslow Sargeant, ’86, was nom­i­nated for the posi­tion of chief counsel for advo­cacy in the Small Busi­ness Administration.

Like many North­eastern stu­dents whose ulti­mate career inter­ests are inspired by their co-​​op expe­ri­ences, Fer­riero took his first career step by accepting the seem­ingly unex­citing co-​​op posi­tion as a junior library assis­tant at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology (MIT) Libraries in 1965.

Fer­riero inter­rupted his North­eastern edu­ca­tion to join the U.S. Navy and was deployed to Vietnam. He returned to North­eastern from the war a dif­ferent student.

I was much more focused at that point,” Fer­riero said in a 2005 inter­view with the North­eastern alumni mag­a­zine. “When I came back and became a lib­eral arts major, that’s when I took courses in the Eng­lish depart­ment and really liked what I saw.”

A love for the intel­lec­tual world of libraries was born. He landed a library posi­tion at MIT, and after 31 years there, Fer­riero moved on to Duke Uni­ver­sity, where he served for sev­eral years as the Rita DiGial­lonardo Hol­loway Uni­ver­sity Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. In 2004, he was tapped as chief exec­u­tive of the New York Public Libraries Research Libraries, fol­lowed by his appoint­ment as the Andrew W. Mellon Director three years later.

The New York Public Libraries (NYPL) is one of the largest public library sys­tems in the United States and one of the largest research library sys­tems in the world. Fer­riero is respon­sible for col­lec­tion strategy; con­ser­va­tion; dig­ital expe­ri­ence; ref­er­ence and research ser­vices; and edu­ca­tion, pro­gram­ming, and exhi­bi­tions. The NYPL has 2,600 full-​​time employees and a budget of $273 million.

As Archivist, Fer­riero would be taking over an orga­ni­za­tion that, for fiscal year 2010, has a pro­jected budget of $454 mil­lion and 2,998 full-​​time employees.

In addi­tion to a BA and an MA in Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture from North­eastern, Fer­riero holds an MS from the Sim­mons Grad­uate School of Library and Infor­ma­tion Science.