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Librarian of Congress Appoints Robert R. Newlen as Interim Director of the Congressional Research Service

Release Date: 09 Jun 2023
Robert R Newlen Interim Director of the Congressional Research Service

Librarian of Congress Appoints Robert R. Newlen as Interim Director of the Congressional Research Service

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that she has appointed Robert R. Newlen as interim director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), effective July 3, 2023. He succeeds Director Mary Mazanec, who announced this week she will be permanently stepping aside to become a temporary senior adviser to the Librarian.

“I am pleased to announce Robert Newlen has agreed to act as director of the Congressional Research Service,” Hayden said. “Robert had a stellar 42-year career at the Library of Congress, holding leadership positions in CRS, the Law Library and as deputy Librarian of Congress. We are confident that he will ably guide CRS and continue its mission to serve Congress and to advance its many ongoing initiatives, including IT modernization, while we undertake the search for a permanent director.”

Newlen most recently served as executive director and director of strategic initiatives of the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation in Phoenix. He oversaw all operations of the foundation and implemented the annual Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award.

Newlen held his first position at the Library of Congress in 1975 as a temporary clerk in the Inquiry Unit of CRS and retired in 2017 as the deputy Librarian of Congress. He served in a number of leadership positions in CRS from 1975 until 2010.  They included: assistant director of Knowledge Services Group (KSG); deputy assistant director, KSG; head, CRS Legislative Relations Office; supervisory team leader of the Senate Reference Center; and head, Inquiry Unit. Subsequent positions in the Library included assistant law librarian for Collections, Outreach & Services; Library of Congress chief of staff; and deputy Librarian of Congress.  He was the coordinator and principal fundraiser for the Library’s exhibit “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” in 2014.

Newlen has held a variety of positions in the American Library Association (ALA), which includes serving as a member of the Executive Board and senior trustee of the ALA Endowment. He was the recipient of the ALA Medal of Excellence in 2016 for “creative leadership of high order, particularly in library management.”

He has also been active in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and the Joint Council of Librarians of Color.  For the State Department, he conducted seminars and training in library and information science in Belarus, Moldova and Russia.

Newlen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from Bridgewater College; a master’s degree from American University; and a master of science in library science degree from Catholic University.

In 1914, Congress passed legislation to establish a separate department within the Library of Congress. President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill into law, and CRS, then called the Legislative Reference Service, was born to serve the legislative needs of Congress. The director of CRS serves by appointment of, and under the general direction of, the Librarian of Congress.

The mission of the Congressional Research Service is to serve Congress with the highest quality of research, analysis, information and confidential consultation to support the exercise of its legislative, representational and oversight duties. With core values of confidentiality, objectivity, nonpartisanship, authoritativeness and timeliness, CRS serves as an extension of congressional staff. CRS examines pressing legislative issues facing Congress; identifies and assesses policy options; and provides analysis, consultation and briefings to support Congress throughout the legislative process across the full range of public policy issues.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at


PR 23-057
ISSN 0731-3527

Media Contact: Bill Ryan,

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