Thomas J. Putnam

Thomas J. Putnam is the fifth person to serve as Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum since it was opened in 1979. As Director, he has responsibility for preserving and providing access to the Library’s collections and using them as the basis of exhibits and educational programming. During his tenure, the Library has increased the size of its collections, built a 30,000 square foot addition, launched the nation’s first digital presidential archives, strengthened the Library’s Forum series, and experienced an unprecedented increase in its core revenue streams.

Putnam first joined the Library staff in 1999 as Director of Education and later served as Deputy Director overseeing operations and finance. A graduate of Bowdoin College and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, he was a Watson Fellow in Quebec, Canada and a Fulbright Scholar in Senegal, West Africa. Before coming to the Library, Putnam directed a federally funded Upward Bound program that helps low income high school students to be the first in their families to attend college.

Library Senior Staff

James Roth, Deputy Director, JFK LibraryJames Roth
Deputy Director

James Roth has served as Deputy Director at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum since 2008. He assists the Library Director in planning, directing, and administering all programs and activities of the Library.

Roth oversees the Operations Division; is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the building, including assessing and coordinating technical programs, human resources management, overseeing budgets and facility management issues including security, maintenance, and construction projects; and is responsible for community relations, public outreach, special events, museum visitor services and relations, and retail and merchandising operations.  

Roth first joined the Library staff in 2001 as the Ernest Hemingway Curator, and later served as Senior Archivist/Head of Processing and Digitization, overseeing the acquisition of textual collections, the arrangement and description of collections, the Oral History Program, the Digital Initiative Access to a Legacy, and the records management program. He received a B.A. in History from Johnson State College, holds a M.A. in American History from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S.L.S., specializing in Archives, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Karen Adler Abramson
Director of Archives

Karen Adler Abramson has served as Director of Archives at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum since 2010. As the Director of Archives, she oversees the work of all units in the Archives division: Processing and Digitization, Reference (Textual and Audiovisual), Declassification, and the Hemingway Collection. The Archives division comprises 20 staff members, including four Digitization staff funded by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Adler Abramson has worked as a professional archivist for 15 years. Prior to joining the Library, she directed the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department at Brandeis University. Previous archival positions include those at Northeastern University, the State Library of Massachusetts, and the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

Adler Abramson holds a B.A. in Sociology and Women's Studies from Brandeis University; an M.A. in Social Welfare Policy and Women's Studies from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management (Brandeis University); and an M.S.L.I.S. with a concentration in Archives Management from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Stacey Bredhoff
Museum Curator

Stacey Bredhoff has served as Curator at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum since 2008, where she curated “To the Brink—JFK and the Missile Crisis,” a major exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the crisis, as well as several smaller exhibitions and displays, including “Poetry and Power—John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address” (2008), “In Her Voice: Jacqueline Kennedy’s Oral History Interview” (2011), “Moonshot: JFK and Space Exploration,” (2009), and “Winning West Virginia: JFK’s Primary Campaign” (2010). As Museum Curator, she is responsible for planning, supervising, and executing the programs and activities of the museum.

Before joining the Library, Bredhoff was Senior Curator at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where she developed one of the institution’s signature exhibitions, “The Charters of Freedom: A New World Is at Hand” (2003—2009), which flanked the permanent display of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, as well as  the national  traveling exhibitions “Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives” (2006-2008), and “American Originals: Treasures from the National Archives” (2000 – 2003).

Bredhoff earned a B.A. degree from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and a M.A. in Teaching/Museum Education from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Nancy McCoy
Director of Education and Public Programs

The Director of Education and Public Programs is responsible for the overall planning and direction of educational and public programs and the supervision of all program staff. The Director develops and implements plans for programs for the general public on a variety of historical, political, and public policy issues, including programs for primary and secondary school groups, conferences, seminars, and workshops for primary and secondary school teachers, and education outreach efforts.