Yao-Fen You
Under Secretary for Museums and Culture

Yao-Fen You

Acting Director, Asian Pacific American Center

Yao-Fen You is the acting director for the Asian Pacific American Center. The center works to present the history, art and culture of American Pacific Americans through research, exhibitions, outreach and education programs.

You has temporarily left her position as senior curator and head of product design and decorative arts at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. 

Since joining Cooper Hewitt in 2019, You has been critical in securing funding for museum for acquisitions and critical collections care. In addition to serving as acting deputy director of curatorial at the museum since May 2020, she helped develop the Art Museums Professional Accomplishments Evaluation Committee guidelines. She also has served as a member of the Smithsonian’s Working Group for Shared Stewardship and Ethical Returns. In 2021, she launched “In Search of Asian American/Pacific Islander Architects and Designers” at Cooper Hewitt in partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians. 

You has held curatorial positions at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Harvard Art Museums, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. She earned her doctorate in the history of art from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley.

# # #