Heather Hirotaka has been appointed as the next Washington State Archivist, and is the first woman to hold the position in Washington, according to the Washington Office of the Secretary of State.
Hirotaka’s appointment went into effect July 5. Her duties consist of overseeing the Washington State Archives, which collect and preserve Washington state’s historical records and make them available to the public.
“Every day has a story and becomes part of our legacy. How we preserve it matters,” said Hirotaka in a press release. “Washington State Archives works to ensure that our unique and diverse history is captured and accessible for generations to come. I look forward to sharing my passion for our state’s archives and history with our amazing employees and the people we are privileged to serve every day.”
Prior to joining the Secretary of State’s office, Hirotaka worked at the Thurston County Auditor’s office, where she oversaw the public permanent archival records as the licensing and recording manager. Hirotaka joined the office in 2017 and was named director of community programs in 2018. There, she oversaw several projects such as Legacy Washington, the Combined Fund Drive, and the Address Confidentiality Program.
“Heather’s unique experience and expertise make her the ideal leader to enhance Washington State Archives’ culture of service and further our commitment to preserve and share Washington’s history,” Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said.
Hirotaka replaces Steve Excell, who retired in December 2021.
The State Archives has branches in Bellevue, Bellingham, Cheney, Ellensburg and Olympia. At each location, local research and customer service is offered, as well as records management education and training.