L. Reynolds Cahoon is well-known in genealogy circles. He was the manager in charge of the Family History Department at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as executive vice-president of the Genealogical Society of Utah. He then went to Washington to become the Assistant Archivist of the United States. His title was expanded to Assistant Archivist for Human Resources and Information Services and Chief Information Officer of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Now Mr. Cahoon has been promoted again, assuming a position vital to the preservation of electronic records. The Archivist of the United States has promoted Reynolds Cahoon to the new position of Senior Adviser on Electronic Records.
According to a December 5 internal memo by Archivist Allen Weinstein, Cahoon is now responsible for educating top officials from the private sector and the federal, state, and local government about the National Archives of the future - the new Electronic Records Archives.
ERA is the first effort to save the government's records - regardless of format - and make them available on future hardware and software. The project will start as a Web portal, but its architecture will adapt to changing technology. In September, NARA awarded Lockheed Martin a $308 million contract to develop the system, which could be worth $500 million.
In his new role, Cahoon will also advise federal agencies on the importance of e-records management.
"Ren will represent me on standards bodies in the area of electronic records," Weinstein wrote. "He will also consult with Federal agencies on how to go about building records management functions into their enterprise architecture and information systems."
Cahoon served as CIO for 10 years, supporting the design of ERA from the beginning. Now, while other NARA officials work to ensure that ERA is built to specifications, Cahoon will ensure the public understands how to use it.
Martha Morphy, director for information resources policy and projects, has assumed Cahoon's previous duties as acting CIO.