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People: Who’s Who at the Smithsonian Institution

David J. Skorton

David J. Skorton

Dr. David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his position July 1, 2015. As Secretary, Skorton oversees 19 museums and galleries, 20 libraries, the National Zoo and numerous research centers, including the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. He is responsible for an annual budget of $1.3 billion, 6,500 employees, and 6,300 volunteers. The Smithsonian's federal appropriation for fiscal year 2015 is $819.5 million, which accounts for 62 percent of the Institution's funding. The Smithsonian generates additional funding from private contributions and business revenues.

Skorton, a board-certified cardiologist, previously was the president of Cornell University, a position he held from July 2006. He was also a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Cornell's Department of Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering. His research focus is congenital heart disease and cardiac imaging and image processing. Skorton is the first physician to lead the Smithsonian.


Board of Regents

The legislation that created the Smithsonian Institution (approved by Congress Aug. 10, 1846) called for the creation of a Board of Regents to govern and administer the organization.

More about the Board of Regents...


Senior Executives


Museum and Research Center Directors

Senior Administration and Program Directors

  • Fredie Adelman, Director, The Smithsonian Associates
  • Susan Ades, Director, Smithsonian Exhibits
  • Michael Atwood Mason, Director, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • Nancy Bechtol, Director, Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations
  • Deron Burba, Chief Information Officer
  • Michael Caruso, Editor-in-Chief, Smithsonian magazine
  • Harold A. Closter, Director, Smithsonian Affiliations
  • Pierre Comizzoli, Director, Consortia for Science
  • Eduardo Díaz, Smithsonian Latino Center
  • Michelle Anne Delaney, Director, Consortia for Humanities
  • James Douglas, Director, Office of Human Resources
  • Molly Fannon, Director, Office of International Relations
  • Tracey Fraser, Director, Office of Sponsored Projects
  • Jean Garvin, Director of Finance and Accounting
  • Nancy E. Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries
  • Chandra P. Heilman, Ombudsman
  • Karen Keller, Director, Office of Special Events and Protocol
  • John K. Lapiana, Deputy Under Secretary for Finance and Administration and Acting Director of the Office of Communications and External Affairs
  • Dorothy A. Leffler, Director, Office of Contracting & Personal Property Management
  • Konrad Ng, Director, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
  • Stephanie L. Norby, Director, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
  • Carol O'Donnell, Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center
  • Jeanne O'Toole, Director, Office of Protection Services
  • Nell Payne, Director, Government Relations
  • William G. Tompkins, Director, National Collections Program
  • David Voyles, Director, Office of Planning, Management and Budget
  • Whitney Watriss, Acting Director, Office of Policy and Analysis
  • Sherri Wheeler, Director, Office of Visitor Services
  • Eric Woodard, Director, Office of Fellowships and Internships
  • Elizabeth Ziebarth, Coordinator, Accessibility Program