Congress vested responsibility for the administration of the Smithsonian in a 17-member Board of Regents.
As specified in the Smithsonian's charter, the Chief Justice of the United States and the Vice President of the United States are ex officio members of the Board, meaning that they serve as a duty of their office. The Chief Justice also serves as the Chancellor of the Smithsonian.
There are six congressional Regents: three Senators are appointed by the President pro tempore of the United States Senate and three Representatives are appointed by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Their terms on the Board coincide with their elected terms in Congress, and they may be reappointed to the Board if reelected.
Nine Regents are from the general public, two of whom must reside in the District of Columbia and seven of whom must be inhabitants of the 50 states (but no two from the same state). Each is nominated by the Board of Regents and appointed for a statutory term of six years by a Joint Resolution of the Congress, which is then signed into law by the President. In accordance with the Bylaws adopted by the Board of Regents in 1979, citizen members may not serve more than two successive terms.
The members of the Board of Regents are:
- Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
- Vice President Kamala D. Harris (ex officio)
- Senator John Boozman
- Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
- Senator Patrick Leahy
- Representative Doris Matsui
- Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard
- Representative Adrian Smith
- Barbara M. Barrett (Arizona)
- Steve Case (Virginia), Chair
- John Fahey (Massachusetts)
- Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. (Washington, D.C.)
- Michael Govan (California)
- Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey (Pennsylvania), Vice Chair
- Michael M. Lynton (New York)
- Denise M. O'Leary (Colorado)
- Franklin D. Raines (Washington, D.C.)
John G. Roberts, Jr., the 17th Chief Justice of the United States, served as a law clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1979 to 1980 and as a law clerk for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1980 term. He served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States from 1981 to 1982, as Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1986, and as Principal Deputy Solicitor General from 1989 to 1993. From 1986 to 1989 and 1993 to 2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. He served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2003 to 2005. Nominated as Chief Justice of the United States by President George W. Bush, he assumed that office on September 29, 2005.
John Boozman is Arkansas’s senior U.S. Senator and the dean of the state’s Congressional delegation. Raised in Fort Smith, John graduated from Northside High School and went on to play football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year co-founding a family business with his brother that would ultimately become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas. Decades of experience as a successful healthcare provider and a small business owner guide John’s approach to governing. He is committed to advocating for economic policies that help Arkansas’s small businesses continue to grow and add jobs to our state’s economy. And since agriculture accounts for nearly one-quarter of Arkansas’s economic activity, John has been a consistent champion for the state’s farmers, ranchers and loggers and was instrumental in the fight for an equitable farm bill. As the son of an Air Force Master Sergeant, John learned at an early age about the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, as well as the unique challenges military families face. He brings these values with him to Washington where he is committed to enhancing the quality of life for both our veterans and their families. John has authored provisions to extend successful federal homeless veteran programs, expand treatments for our wounded warriors and modernize educational benefits under the GI Bill. John serves on four committees and chairs two subcommittees in the 116th Congress. Along with these committees, John serves on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, commonly referred to as the Helsinki Commission. He serves on the Congressional Study Group on Europe (CSGE), a bipartisan organization dedicated to frank and candid dialogue between American lawmakers and their peers in European capitals and Brussels and has been appointed the Vice Chairman of the Senate Delegation to the British-American Interparliamentary Group during the 116thCongress. In addition, John also serves as one of six Congressional Regents on the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents which governs and administers the organization. First elected to the Senate in 2010, John was sworn in for a second term on January 3, 2017. Prior to serving in the Senate, he represented the people of the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Active in his community, John has served on the Rogers School Board, the Benton County Fair Board, established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families. He successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University. John is married to the former Cathy Marley and they currently reside in Rogers, AR. The couple has three daughters and three grandchildren.
Catherine Cortez Masto is the first woman from Nevada and the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Cortez Masto has spent her career protecting Nevada families. From 2007 to 2015, Cortez Masto served two terms as Nevada's Attorney General, where she fought to protect seniors, strengthen laws to end sex trafficking and violence against women, combat drug crime, and take on the Big Banks. In the Senate, Cortez Masto has taken her fight for working Nevadans to Washington, D.C., by fighting to protect Nevadans’ access to health care; hold banks accountable when they harm hardworking families and homeowners; defend Dreamers so they can continue to live in the only country they’ve ever called home; and grow Nevada’s innovation and renewable energy economy, while also prioritizing workers and union families. She is a member of four U.S. Senate Committees: the Committee on Finance; the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and the Committee on Indian Affairs. Cortez Masto currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Subcommittee of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Cortez Masto earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986, and a J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1990. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Paul.
Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont and former prosecutor, has served since 1975 in the Senate, where his legislative leadership focuses on foreign policy, national security, human rights, and humanitarian relief; technology law and innovation, privacy rights, civil liberties, and government transparency; and farm and nutrition policy, environmental protection, and conservation. Ranking first in seniority, Senator Leahy is President Pro Tempore Emeritus of the Senate and Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He also is the most senior member of the Agriculture and Judiciary committees, and serves on the Rules and Administration Committee. He is Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, and sits on its Defense; Interior, Environment; Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; and Homeland Security subcommittees. He was installed in the FOIA Hall of Fame for championing open government and is one of only two politicians ever awarded the John Peter Zenger Press Freedom Award. Senator Leahy co-founded and continues to co-chair the Congressional Internet Caucus. A Co-Chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus, he received the Harry S. Truman Award, the highest civilian honor of the National Guard Association.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui has represented the city of Sacramento and its surrounding areas since 2005. As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she serves on the Health, Communications & Technology, Environment, and Digital Commerce & Consumer Protection subcommittees. The Congresswoman serves as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition, Co-Chair of the High Tech Caucus, and Co-Chair of the National Service Caucus. Before coming to Congress, Congresswoman Matsui served on numerous advisory boards, community organizations, and honorary committees. She served as Chairwoman of the Board for the KVIE public television station in Sacramento, and in leadership capacities for the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento Children's Home, and the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra. In D.C., she served on the Woodrow Wilson Center Board of Trustees, and in leadership capacities for the Meridian International Center and Arena Stage. She currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of the National Museum of American History and is on the Board of the National Symphony Orchestra. During President Bill Clinton's first term in office, she served as one of eight members of the President's transition board. She later served as Deputy Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Lucille Roybal-Allard of California has served in the House of Representatives since 1993. She is the first Mexican-American woman ever elected to Congress, the first Latina to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, and the first Latina to chair an Appropriations subcommittee. As chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, she fights to ensure homeland security personnel have the resources they need to keep the country safe, and she advocates for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. She is the House’s only remaining original coauthor of the Dream Act and a founder of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform. She is also a House Democratic Senior Whip; a member and former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care; a vice chair of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors; and a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard is the eldest daughter of the late Congressman Edward R. Roybal and Lucille Beserra Roybal. She received her bachelor's degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and served in the California State Assembly from 1987 to 1992. She is married to Edward T. Allard III. Together, she and her husband have four children and nine grandchildren.
Congressman Adrian Smith is a Gering native and sixth generation Nebraskan who has earned praise for his leadership, hard work, and dedication to Nebraska. Smith has tackled issues ranging from biofuels and other forms of domestic energy to transportation research and development to fashioning legislation promoting rural America. He serves as ranking member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, formerly known as the tax subcommittee, and as a member of the Subcommittee on Health. Smith actively promotes access for Nebraska agriculture products in Asia, South America, and throughout the world. He supports trade agreements to create new opportunities for our agriculture producers and their products to keep Nebraska’s economy strong. He has also fought for tax relief for Nebraska families, ag producers, and small business owners, including helping to craft the first tax code overhaul to be signed into law in a generation. He and his wife, Andrea, reside in Gering, Nebraska, with their son, Ezekiel.
Barrett was the 25th Secretary of the Air Force. Earlier, Barrett was Ambassador to Finland, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and Vice Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board. She was CEO of the American Management Association, an executive with two Fortune 200 companies, and owner of Montana’s Triple Creek Guest Ranch. She taught leadership as a Fellow at Harvard and was interim president of Thunderbird School of Global Management. Before the Air Force, she was four-term Chairman of the Board of The Aerospace Corporation and in addition to the Smithsonian, she also served on the governing boards of RAND, Raytheon, Mayo Clinic, Exponent Corporation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Caltech-JPL and the Space Foundation. She chaired the President’s Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, Commerce Secretary’s biennial Export Conference, International Women’s Forum and State Department’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group. She was a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, Council on Foreign Relations and the Horatio Alger Association. An instrument-rated pilot, Barrett trained and qualified for space flight to the International Space Station.
Steve Case is an entrepreneur, innovator, and philanthropist. For the past 15 years, Steve’s focus has been on starting and scaling Revolution, the Washington DC-based investment firm that backs entrepreneurs at every stage of their development. Prior to starting Revolution, Mr. Case was the Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of America Online, Inc. (AOL) and, later, the Chairman of AOL Time Warner. As Co-Founder of AOL, he played an integral role in building the world's largest Internet company, driving the worldwide adoption of the internet. Mr. Case is Chair of the Case Foundation, which seeks to democratize philanthropy, encourage civic engagement, and promote innovative technologies that facilitate both. As members of the Giving Pledge, an effort started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Mr. Case and his wife, Jean Case, have publicly affirmed their commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to charitable causes. In addition, Mr. Case chaired the Startup America Partnership, co-chaired the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and served on President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He is also author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.
John Fahey is Chairman Emeritus of the National Geographic Society. He served as CEO of National Geographic from 1998 to 2013 and as President from 1998 to 2010. As President and CEO, he led an evolution of the National Geographic Society, including its entry into cable television, the international growth of National Geographic magazine, and the extension of National Geographic content into digital media. He also advanced the Society's efforts to improve geographic literacy and guided the expansion of the Society's international Mission Programs. In 2011, he received Peru's highest civilian award, "Orden del Sol del Peru," for his and National Geographic's role in helping retrieve a collection of ancient artifacts taken from Machu Picchu in 1912. Before joining National Geographic, he was Chairman, President, and CEO of Time Life Inc. He also worked for Home Box Office, where he was instrumental in the startup of CINEMAX. He currently serves on the boards of Johnson Outdoors, Linbald Expeditions, and Great Plains Investment LLC. He also is a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the National Museum of Natural History.
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., is the Immediate Past President and CEO of TIAA. Prior to joining TIAA, Mr. Ferguson was head of financial services for Swiss Re and Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation. Mr. Ferguson is the former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. He began his career as an attorney at the New York City office of Davis Polk & Wardwell and was an Associate and Partner at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Ferguson is a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He serves on the boards of Alphabet, Inc.; Corning, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; and International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. Mr. Ferguson is also active as an advisor and board member with various private fintech companies. He serves on the boards of The Conference Board, the American Council of Life Insurers, the Institute for Advanced Study, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Mr. Ferguson holds a B.A., J.D., and a Ph.D. in economics, all from Harvard University.
Michael Govan joined the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as Chief Executive Officer and Wallis Annenberg Director in 2006. In this role, he oversees all activities of the museum, from art programming to the expansion and upgrade of the museum’s twenty-acre campus. During his tenure, LACMA has acquired by donation or purchase more than 27,000 works for the permanent collection, gallery space and programs have almost doubled, and annual attendance has grown from 600,000 to nearly 1.6 million in 2016. Currently the museum in the process of building a new, state of the art gallery building designed by architect Peter Zumthor.
Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Population Health and Health Equity Professor Emerita at the University of Pennsylvania. She is president emerita and former CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy organization dedicated solely to health and health care. With more than 30 years of experience as a medical practitioner, policy-maker, professor, and nonprofit executive, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey combines the scientific and ethical values she learned as a doctor with an enduring conviction that meaningful philanthropy must achieve lasting social change. Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey previously served as the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems at the University of Pennsylvania. She also directed Penn’s Institute on Aging and was chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. At the Federal level, she served as deputy administrator of what is now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and worked on the White House Health Care Reform Task Force; she also served on numerous Federal advisory committees. Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Michael Lynton is the Chairman of the Board of Snap Inc. and the Former CEO of Sony Entertainment. Michael Lynton served as the CEO of Sony Entertainment from April 2012 until February 2017, overseeing Sony’s global entertainment businesses, including Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Michael also served as Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment since January 2004. Prior to joining Sony Pictures, he worked for Time Warner and served as CEO of AOL Europe, President of AOL International and President of Time Warner International, and earlier served as Chairman and CEO of Pearson plc's Penguin Group where he oversaw the acquisition of Putnam, Inc. and extended the Penguin brand to music and the Internet. Michael currently serves on the Board of Snap, Inc., IEX, and Ares Management, L.P. He is also a member on the Council on Foreign Relations and the Harvard Board of Overseers and serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Tate, and the Rand Corporation. Michael holds a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard College, where he also received his M.B.A.
Ms. O’Leary is a private venture capital investor and a corporate director. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of American Airlines Group, Inc. and Medtronic plc. She has previously served on the boards of US Airways, Inc. until that company’s merger with American Airlines at the end of 2013, ALZA Corporation, America West Airlines Group, Inc., Calpine Corporation, Chiron Corporation, Del Monte Foods Company and numerous private companies. Additionally, Ms. O’Leary is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Denver and serves on the Advisory Council of the Colorado Impact Fund. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Stanford Hospital and Clinics, where she served as Chair of the Board, and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. She was a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees for 15 years, during which time she was Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Committee on the Medical Center. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Connect for Health Colorado (the state health exchange), the Smithsonian National Board, and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, where she served as Chair of the Board. A graduate of Stanford University (BS, Industrial Engineering, 1979) and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration (MBA, 1983), Ms. O’Leary was a General Partner at Menlo Ventures in Menlo Park, CA for 15 years.
Frank Raines is Executive Chairman and Co-founder of the digital services companies XAPPmedia and Bespoken.io. The first African American CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, Frank retired as Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae in 2004. He previously served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton Administration where he led the negotiations that resulted in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Frank began his professional career working for Senator Moynihan in the White House. He later became the assistant director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff in the Carter administration and followed that role becoming associate director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget from 1978-1979. Frank later joined investment bank Lazard Freres & Co where he served as partner from 1985 -1991. Frank has served on the board of Directors of six Fortune 100 companies, and also served as Co-Chairman of the Business Roundtable and Vice Chairman of the Business Council. Frank has been an investor and board member of several start-up companies and was a member of the Board of the National Urban League and the fundraising cabinet of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. He was a founding member of the Advisory Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Originally from Seattle, Washington, he earned his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Harvard College in 1971. He attended Magdalen College, Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from the Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 1976. He is also the recipient of the Harvard Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal by the Department of Defense. He has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Social Insurance, and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.