Charles Palm is the Deputy Director Emeritus of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Retiring in 2002, he completed thirty-one years of service at the Hoover, including eighteen years directing the Hoover Library and Archives. His positions at Hoover included Deputy Director, 1990-2002; Associate Director, 1987-1990; Head Librarian, 1986-1987; Archivist, 1984-1987; Acting Archivist, 1983; Deputy Archivist, 1974-1984; and Assistant Archivist, 1971-1974.

In 1992, Palm negotiated an agreement between Hoover and the Russian State Archival Service to microfilm the archives of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet State, totaling over 12 million documents dating from the founding of the Party in 1898 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. He also led a collecting effort to acquire records on communism and the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, resulting in the acquisition of 2.5 tons of materials for Hoover. Among other collections acquired by Palm include the papers of Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Karl Popper, and George Shultz, and the archives of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and William F. Buckley’s Firing Line.

He was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in 1990 and served until 1996; and by Governor George Deukmejian to the California Heritage Preservation Commission in 1988 and served as chairman from 1997 to 2004. He also served on the History and Education Center Advisory Board of the American Red Cross and the Golden State Museum Corporation. Palm is a fellow of the Society of American Archivist and past president of the Society of California Archivists.

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