March 6, 2020
Upcoming State Historical Society of North Dakota Director Named
BISMARCK, N.D. – The State Historical Board of the State Historical Society of North Dakota announces a new director of the agency. Bill Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of collections and education with the Arizona Historical Society in Flagstaff, Arizona, will assume leadership July 1, 2020, after Director Claudia Berg retires following 39 years with the agency.
Peterson will bring extensive museum experience to North Dakota. He has worked with the Arizona Historical Society since 2013, first as Northern Division director, and since September 2018 as vice president of collections and education. He has also held positions in South Dakota and Montana. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history from Lake Superior State University in Michigan, a master’s degree in historic administration and museum studies from the University of Kansas, and holds a doctorate in American cultural studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
“We were very pleased with the quality of the candidates we interviewed,” said H. Patrick Weir, State Historical Board president. “But in the end, Dr. Peterson’s enthusiasm, knowledge of the business of a historical society, and passion for history resulted in a unanimous vote for his appointment.”
State Historical Society Director Claudia Berg began her career with the State Historical Society in 1981 and became director in 2014 as the first woman to hold the position. The State Historical Board launched a national search for her successor in November 2019, appointing a five-member selection committee to oversee the process. Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen served as the committee chair. Six qualified applications were sent to the selection committee for review. The final two candidates were interviewed by the board, and Peterson was selected at a special State Historical Board meeting on March 4.
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