News Article

National Archives Foundation Elects New Officers at December Annual Board Meeting: Governor Jim Blanchard and Cokie Roberts to lead

December 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Archives Foundation, the non-profit partner of the National Archives and Records Administration, announced the election of its executive committee leadership which includes new board Chairman Governor James J. Blanchard and ABC and NPR political commentator Cokie Roberts as Vice Chair at its December leadership meeting.

Governor Blanchard succeeds A’Lelia Bundles who has served as Foundation Chair for the last six years. Having served the state of Michigan as both a U.S. Congressman and Governor, Mr. Blanchard was ambassador to Canada and is the Senior Partner at the global law firm of DLA Piper. He has also served as chairman of the Meridian International Center, a leading public diplomacy, non-profit center in Washington, DC.

“I feel very fortunate to have this honor to serve as the chair of the National Archives Foundation. It is truly humbling to help expand and educate the public on the National Archives further civic learning and dialogue in our country,” said Governor Blanchard. “I would also like to personally thank A’Lelia Bundles who has lead this board with distinction over the last six years and blazed an impactful leadership path; she is the gold standard and a model of a great leader,” Blanchard added.

In addition to Governor Blanchard, the Board of directors elected Cokie Roberts as Vice Chair. “It is an honor to take this leadership role as part of the National Archives Foundation, which I hold very closely. The Foundation’s dedication to expanding access to our nation’s history and reaching out to future generations is vital in today’s world,” said Ms. Roberts.

Additional members re-elected to the executive committee included Ken Burns and Michael R. Beschloss, (both serving as Vice Presidents), Marvin Weissberg as Treasurer, and Marilynn Wood Hill as Secretary.



Jim Blanchard has dedicated his life to public service and law, serving with distinction as governor of the State of Michigan, ambassador to Canada and a member of the United States Congress. Currently, he is co-chair of Government Affairs for the global law firm of DLA Piper and chairman of the Meridian International Center, a leading public diplomacy, non-profit center in Washington, DC.

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. In her more than forty years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In addition to her reporting, Roberts has written six New York Times bestsellers, most dealing with the roles of women in U.S. history.

Ken Burns has been making documentary films for almost forty years.  Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness:  The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks:  America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts:  An Intimate History; Jackie Robinson; Defying the Nazis:  The Sharps’ War; and, most recently, The Vietnam War. Future projects include films on the history of country music, Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali, Benjamin Franklin, the American Revolution, the history of crime and punishment in America, Leonardo da Vinci, Lyndon B. Johnson, Civil Rights, Winston Churchill, and the history of American innovation and technology, among others.

Michael Beschloss is an academic, historian, television personality and journalist, and has been a member of the Board of the National Archives Foundation since 2000.  Mr. Beschloss is an award-winning historian, best-selling author of nine books, New York Times columnist, and Emmy-winning contributor to NBC News and “PBS NewsHour.” With the largest Twitter following of any historian, Beschloss appears on “TIME” magazine’s list of the world’s top Twitter feeds. The New York Times Book Review called Beschloss “easily the most widely recognized Presidential historian in the United States.” An alumnus of Phillips Academy, Williams College and the Harvard Business School, Beschloss is working on a major history of American presidents and wars.

Marvin F. Weissberg is the founder and chairman of the board of Weissberg Corp, one of Washington, DC’s major commercial real estate development companies. The Weissberg Corp has built and developed office buildings, shopping centers, apartment houses, hotels, and mixed-use developments in the Washington metropolitan area. As a strong believer in civic participation, Marvin Weissberg has dedicated both time and financial resources to the nonprofit sector and political arenas.  In 1984, he was one of the founding board members of the National Democratic Institute and served on that board for 17 years.  In addition, he has served on government planning boards, commissions, financial institutions, and on the board of local theaters and many other nonprofit organizations.  In 1988, Marvin established the Weissberg Foundation to alleviate human suffering, broaden cultural understating, and advance social justice.  Since its beginning, the Foundation has given nearly $15,000,000 to more than 300 nonprofit organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.

Marilynn Wood Hill is an author and historian and has been a member of the Board of the National Archives Foundation since 2003. She is currently Secretary of the Board, Chair of the Nominating Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee.  She authored the book Their Sisters’ Keepers: Prostitution in New York City, 1830-1870 (1993), co-authored Images of America: Around Bronxville (1998), was the editor of Bronxville Artists & Friends (2008), a catalog for an exhibition at Concordia College’s OSilas Gallery, and has published numerous articles, chapters, and essays in journals, books, and encyclopedias. She is currently the editor of The Bronxville Journal. Ms. Hill serves on the boards of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust (Charleston), and on the advisory boards of the Schlesinger Library at Harvard/Radcliffe and the College of Charleston School of the Arts. In 1998, she co-founded The Bronxville Historical Conservancy and has served in her New York community as Chair of:  the Board of Ethics, Friends of the Sarah Lawrence College Library, the Adult School, and the Yonkers Court Assistance Program for Abused Spouses, for which she was a co-founder. She has a PhD in history from the University of Maryland and an MA and BA in history from Southern Methodist University. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. The Foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world. Learn more at:

The National Archives is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, so people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at: