Head shot of Rachelle Graves with a white background.
Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs

Rachelle Graves

Director, Office of Government Relations

Rachelle Graves is the director of the Smithsonian’s Office of Government Relations. She is responsible for promoting and strengthening the Smithsonian’s relationship with Congress, the executive branch and federal, state and local governments.

With more than 25 years’ experience in the private sector and the legislative branch of the federal government, Graves comes to the Smithsonian from the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, where she served as staff director for Ranking Member Sen. Deb Fisher of Nebraska.

A well-respected leader on Capitol Hill, Graves worked in the legislative chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives. She has experience with a wide range of issues from her work with six different subcommittees of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. In addition, Graves has worked with the Senate and House Subcommittees for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, which have direct oversight of the Smithsonian. 

Previously, Graves worked in the private sector as director of government relations for Motorola. She also served as the director of legislative affairs for the European Aeronautics Defense and Space North America office.

Graves earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University.