Sara Bloomfield joined the Museum in 1986 when it was a project in development, grappling with the complex issues of building a “living memorial” to the Holocaust on the National Mall. She served in a number of positions before becoming director in 1999. Under her direction, the Museum created a series of innovative leadership training programs for law enforcement, the military and diplomats, and launched its Academy for Genocide Prevention. She also established the National Institute for Holocaust Education and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.
Ms. Bloomfield has led several complex negotiations on behalf of the Museum. She led the Museum’s diplomatic efforts to open the largest closed archive in the world, the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany. She also negotiated sensitive agreements to rescue endangered artifacts and archives that document the Holocaust in Croatia. During the recent Balkan wars, historic collections had been removed from the Jasenovac Concentration Camp in Croatia and taken to Bosnia where they were in danger of deterioration. Working with U.S. diplomats in the region, Croatian and Serbian officials, and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America, she was able to secure an intensive preservation effort, which was carried out by Museum conservators, and the proper repatriation of these collections. For the Museum’s 10th Anniversary, she secured the first-ever loan of a variety of Anne Frank’s original writings, including parts of her world-famous diary. Some of these historic manuscripts have never been on view; none have been displayed outside the Netherlands.
Ms. Bloomfield has become a valued advisor to museums around the world, serving on the peer review committee for the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Argentine government’s effort to memorialize the victims of “the Dirty War,” the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires, the memorial committee at Ground Zero in New York, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the Iraq Memory Foundation. She has received two honorary doctorates.