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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, 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


Senior Administration & Support Officers

  • Susan Ades, Director, Smithsonian Exhibits
  • Nancy Bechtol, Director, Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations
  • Deron Burba, Chief Information Officer
  • Michael Caruso, Editor-in-Chief, Smithsonian magazine
  • 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
  • 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
  • Jeanne O’Toole, Director, Office of Protection Services
  • Nell Payne, Director, Government Relations
  • David Voyles, Director, Office of Planning, Management and Budget
  • Whitney Watriss, Acting Director, Office of Policy and Analysis
  • Eric Woodard, Director, Office of Fellowships and Internships
  • Elizabeth Ziebarth, Coordinator, Accessibility Program

Museum, Research, and Program Directors

  • Fredie Adelman, Director, The Smithsonian Associates
  • Camille Giraud Akeju, Director, Anacostia Museum
  • Charles R. Alcock, Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Caroline Baumann, Director, Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • Elizabeth Broun, Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery
  • Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Teng Chamchumrus , Interim Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center
  • Melissa Chiu, Director, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Harold A. Closter, Director, Smithsonian Affiliations
  • Johnnetta B. Cole, Director, National Museum of African Art
  • John R. Dailey, Director, National Air and Space Museum
  • Eduardo Díaz, Smithsonian Latino Center
  • Kevin Gover, Director, National Museum of the American Indian
  • John Gray, Director, National Museum of American History, Behring Center
  • Nancy E. Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries
  • Kate Haw, Director, Archives of American Art
  • Anson "Tuck" Hines, Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
  • Kirk Johnson, Director National Museum of Natural History
  • Allen R. Kane, Director, National Postal Museum
  • Dennis Kelly, Director, National Zoological Park
  • Robert J. Koestler, Director, Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute
  • Matthew Larsen, Director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • Michael Atwood Mason, Director, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • Konrad Ng, Director, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
  • Stephanie L. Norby, Director, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
  • Valerie J. Paul, Director, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
  • Julian Raby, Director, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • Kim Sajet, Director, National Portrait Gallery
  • Myriam Springuel, Interim Director, Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service
  • Anne Van Camp, Director, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Consortia Directors