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Senior Leadership Team

Porter Wilkinson

Counselor and Chief of Staff to the Regents

Porter Wilkinson is the counselor and chief of staff to the Regents. She heads the Office of the Regents and reports directly to the Board. Wilkinson provides independent counsel to the Board of Regents on a wide range of governance, strategic, programmatic and policy issues, and provides Regents’ input with respect to the overall management, coordination and oversight of the Smithsonian. 

Before joining the Smithsonian, Wilkinson practiced appellate and constitutional law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. She was a law clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., of the Supreme Court of the United States and to then-Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Wilkinson graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was a member of the Virginia Law Review, the Order of the Coif and the Raven Society. She received her Bachelor of Arts with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and a three-time All-America selection in women’s lacrosse. In 2012, she was inducted into the Virginia Chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

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