Alexandria, Virginia City Manager Mark B. Jinks has appointed Gretchen M. Bulova as Director of the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA), effective January 12.
“Gretchen is a nationally recognized expert in Alexandria’s history,” said Jinks. “She has spent her career researching, interpreting, and sharing knowledge about our community’s past and present, and her tenure as acting director saw even more accomplishments for the Office of Historic Alexandria.”
Bulova served as Acting Director of OHA since the retirement of her predecessor on November 30, 2018. She was appointed OHA’s first deputy director in 2015, following more than 20 years of service with the City. She joined Alexandria in 1991 as a part-time collections manager for the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, left for two years to work as a curator of ceramics and glass for the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington, D.C., and returned in 1995 to become the City’s records administrator and archivist. Bulova became assistant director of Gadsby’s Tavern in 1995, served as that museum’s director from 1996 to 2015, and also became director of the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum when the site was donated to the City in 2006.
In 2012, OHA became only the third municipal museum system in Virginia and the eighth in the United States to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), an effort Bulova coordinated. Since becoming Acting Director, she has overseen the award-winning conservation of three historic ships discovered at the Robinson Landing construction site and the City’s partnership with the Northern Virginia Urban League to operate the Freedom House Museum.
Bulova holds a master’s degree in museum studies from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and classical studies from the College of William & Mary. She is president of the Virginia Association of Museums, president of the Historic House Museum Consortium of Washington, D.C., and a former chair of the Fairfax County History Commission. Bulova is a longtime peer reviewer for AAM’s accreditation programs and is the author or curator of more than 50 publications, exhibitions, and lectures.
The Office of Historic Alexandria operates the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Alexandria Black History Museum, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, Friendship Firehouse Museum, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum, and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.