Meroë Park was named Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Smithsonian, effective Jan. 27, Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III announced today. Park is the executive vice president of the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C., and former executive director/chief operating officer of the CIA.
In her role as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, Park will oversee most of the Smithsonian’s day-to-day activities across its museums, research centers and education organizations, as well as many administrative and support functions. She will work with the Secretary to implement his vision, overseeing major strategic initiatives and programs.
“Meroë has been one of our government’s leading executives, a committed public servant who has dedicated her career to advancing the mission of organizations while driving programs that support effective government,” Bunch said. “She’s a strategic thinker and a consensus-oriented leader who cares deeply about the people who perform the day-to-day operations of an organization. Meroë brings outstanding experience and will help lead the Smithsonian to have greater impact on our country. I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with her.”
Over the course of her 27-year career at the CIA (1989–2017), Park ascended from a junior intelligence analyst to the highest civil-servant position within the agency. In addition to serving as the CIA’s executive director/chief operating officer from 2013 to 2017, Park held wide-ranging roles, including acting director, chief of human resources, director of the office of corporate resources and chief of payroll. She guided the organization through several strategic initiatives including the modernization of the CIA’s information technology systems.
In her current role at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, she leads programs dedicated to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the federal government.
“I am incredibly humbled to be stepping into this role and could not be more excited to join one of America’s most admired institutions,” Park said. “As someone who has spent a career focused on service, I look forward to representing the Smithsonian’s many treasures, as well as its dedicated workforce. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the Secretary in implementing his vision for the future.”
Park received the Presidential Rank Award—the executive branch’s highest honor for career professionals—in 2013 and 2016. She was awarded the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal in 2016. She serves on the board of directors of Butterfield Bank and the board of managers for Sequoia Solutions. Park is a Distinguished Executive in Residence at Georgetown University and holds a bachelor’s degree from the university’s School of Foreign Service.
About the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846 with a bequest from British scientist James Smithson (1765–1829) to found at Washington an establishment for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoological Park.
The Smithsonian’s collections document the nation’s history and heritage and represent the world’s natural and cultural diversity. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, including more than 146 million scientific specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.
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