Smithsonian Council for Education

Help us reach every classroom in the nation
Three formally dressed individuals pose for a photograph with Secretary Lonnie Bunch.

With a legacy as one of the nation’s most trusted resources for learning since 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is at the forefront of opening pathways to knowledge for anyone, anywhere, free of charge. We are situated at the intersection of science, art, history, and culture in an unparalleled way. Our unique, highly effective educational experiences and digital platforms draw on the unmatched interdisciplinary resources of the world's largest museum, education, and research complex.  

The Smithsonian Council for Education is a national group of distinguished individuals committed to the important role education plays in transforming lives.   

Students are seated in a classroom with their hands raised.

The designated funds contributed by the Council enable the Under Secretary for Education to direct resources to notable education initiatives impacting pre-K-12 students across the United States.  


Utilizing the talents and expertise of the Smithsonian’s skilled educators, these initiatives empower teachers, boost student achievement, and broaden horizons for all young people throughout the country.   


In return for their generous support at one of the following four levels, Council members receive exclusive invitations and insider access to the world of Smithsonian education.  


  • Invitation to the Smithsonian Council for Education Luncheon hosted by the Under Secretary for Education.
  • Invitation to the Smithsonian Leadership Dinner during the Annual Smithsonian Weekend.
  • Invitation to the annual Smithsonian Education Awards and reception recognizing the notable achievements of Smithsonian educators.
  • Invitation to the Smithsonian National Education Summit opening reception featuring National Keynote Speakers, summit presenters, Smithsonian leadership, educators from across the country, and other notable officials.  
  • Invitations to exclusive events featuring Smithsonian exhibitions and programs in your region.  
  • Insider communications from the Under Secretary for Education sharing updates on current initiatives made possible with Council funds, progress on programs previously supported by Council funds, and other “insider” Smithsonian news.  
  • Recognition in the Smithsonian’s Annual Report, Education Impact Report, Smithsonian Education Awards program book, and Smithsonian National Education Summit materials.  


  • Annual briefing meeting with the Under Secretary for Education discussing the impact of the Council’s support and upcoming initiatives.   
  • Invitations to participate in webinars, presentations, and virtual gatherings with fellow Council members, as well as executives, experts, and senior staff from across the Smithsonian. 
  • VIP access to experience signature education programs firsthand. 
  • Special recognition as a sponsor of one of the Smithsonian’s signature national education outreach programs.  
  • Access to custom arranged tours to Smithsonian museums and collections during your visits to Washington, D.C. 
  • Plus, benefits of previous giving levels.


  • Private lunch meeting with the Under Secretary for Education and senior Smithsonian educators from the field or museum of your choosing.  
  • Recognition as funding a summer internship in the field or museum of your choosing.
  • Recognition as a keynote presentation sponsor of the Smithsonian National Education Summit. 
  • Opportunity for a behind the scenes visit to one of the Smithsonian’s research centers across the United States or Panama. *Travel arrangements not included.  
  • Plus, benefits of previous giving levels.  


  • Exclusive invitations to events with Smithsonian leadership and the Institution’s foremost benefactors.  
  • Recognition as a lead sponsor of the Smithsonian National Education Summit.  
  • Recognition as funding three summer internships in the field or museum of your choosing.    
  • Plus, benefits of previous giving levels.  

Council Members who make multi-year pledges enable the Office of the Under Secretary for Education to strategically plan for expanded multi-phased initiatives with greater impact.  

To learn more about the Council or request information to be mailed, please contact Mark Mills, Associate Director of Advancement, at or 202-633-7122.  

Education makes so much possible. Innovation and creativity. Achievement and equality. A better shared future for all. Make a difference today by joining the Smithsonian’s Council for Education.