National Archives of Australia director-general David Fricker has become the president of the Paris-based International Council on Archives.
He started his four-year term on Thursday.
The position will be supplementary to his Australian public service job, where he has been attempting to bring the National Archives into the digital age, which means the archive
now deals with even more information.
Part of Mr Fricker's job has involved working out how to store information from important official government email accounts, such as that of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
His biggest challenge at the National Archives has been a massive backlog of requests for information potentially damaging to Australia's national security.
Mr Fricker, in Paris on Thursday, released a statement saying information was the economic resource of the 21st century.
"The vast amount of information that we humans now make, keep, find and use, is what differentiates this century from other periods of our history," he said.
"Information, and our control over it, defines the ability of governments to work with transparency, integrity and security.
"It also defines the extent to which individuals enjoy privacy, access to justice and prosperity.
"But, just as for any other valuable resource, information must be properly understood and carefully managed to completely achieve its full economic benefit.
"In a hyper-connected world that is flooded with data, it is essential to have access to reliable information that is authentic, complete, usable and accessible. In this, the role of archives and archival institutions is vital."
The International Council on Archives promotes conservation and cooperation between archives in about 200 countries.
"Archivists have a deep understanding of information. We understand its vulnerabilities, its sensitivities and of course its long-term value. We have a lot to offer to governments, business and to the broader community as they wrestle with the issues of the modern world and I know our contributions will be welcomed and appreciated."
Mr Fricker believes too much discussion on information policy is focused on technology alone, as we aim to meet the challenges of complex issues such as digitisation, big data and the globalised digital economy, as well as 'infopolitical' issues such as open government, national security, the right to information and individual privacy.
"While technology is of course the essential enabler, it is the data that matters," he said.
"Technology must advance and be constantly replaced and refreshed, but archives must endure forever. The preservation of the world's digital heritage will require a sustained, coordinated effort and partnerships with many organisations across the world. The ICA must play its part.
"With the ICA's growing strengths, the organisation is now poised to become increasingly influential across all spheres of industry, academia and government. I am proud to be president at a time when the world needs ICA to find solutions for the challenges that our digital world continues to create."