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 Michael R. Pence (ex officio)
- Senator John Boozman
- Senator Patrick J. Leahy
- Senator David Perdue
- Representative Tom Cole
- Representative Sam Johnson
- Representative Doris Matsui
- Barbara M. Barrett (Arizona)
- Steve Case (Virginia), Vice Chair
- John Fahey (Washington, D.C.)
- Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. (Washington, D.C.)
- Michael Govan (California)
- Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey (Pennsylvania)
- Michael M. Lynton (New York)
- John W. McCarter, Jr. (Illinois)
- David M. Rubenstein (Maryland), Chair
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.
Michael R. Pence is the 48th and current Vice President of the United States. Michael R. Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, on June 7, 1959, one of six children born to Edward and Nancy Pence. Vice President Pence set off for Hanover College, earning his bachelor’s degree in history in 1981. He later attended Indiana University School of Law and met the love of his life, Second Lady Karen Pence. After graduating, Vice President Pence practiced law, led the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, and began hosting The Mike Pence Show, a syndicated talk radio show and a weekly television public affairs program in Indiana. Along the way he became the proud father to three children, Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. In 2000, he launched a successful bid for his local congressional seat, entering the United States House of Representatives at the age of 40. The people of East-Central Indiana elected Vice President Pence six times to represent them in Congress. His colleagues quickly recognized his leadership ability and unanimously elected him to serve as Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee and House Republican Conference Chairman. In this role, the Vice President helped make government smaller and more effective, reduce spending, and return power to state and local governments. In 2013, Vice President Pence left the nation’s capital when Hoosiers elected him the 50th Governor of Indiana. Vice President Pence’s record of legislative and executive experience, and his strong family values prompted President Donald Trump to select Mike Pence as his running mate in July 2016. The American people elected President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence on November 8, 2016. President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence entered office on January 20, 2017.
John Boozman, a successful businessman and life-long resident of Arkansas, was sworn-in as U.S. Senator on January 5, 2011. 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. John serves on five committees and chairs two subcommittees in the 114th Congress. John also serves on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, commonly referred to as the Helsinki Commission, and 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. John's main legislative priority remains getting Arkansas's economy back on track. Since agriculture accounts for nearly one-quarter of Arkansas's economic activity, John has used his seat on the Agriculture Committee to fight for an equitable farm bill to ensure that Arkansas's farmers, ranchers and loggers are protected. While an equitable farm bill is one way that the federal government can help Arkansas's farmers, over-regulating is one way it can harm them. For that reason, John focuses his work on the EPW Committee to limit the size and intrusiveness of the federal government to help. And in this particularly difficult economy, John remains committed to providing our veterans with economic opportunities to ensure they can assume their rightful role as an indispensable part of America's work force. Prior to serving in the Senate, John represented the people of the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives for five terms where he established a reputation as an advocate for Arkansas, especially our state's veterans for whom he passed legislation to improve the transition to civilian life, expand treatments for our wounded warriors and modern educational benefits under the GI Bill. He was instrumental in bringing together Third District and state leaders with the international community culminated in the creation of the Arkansas World Trade Center (AWTC) in Rogers, which opened in 2007. Prior to his election to Congress, John served two terms on the Rogers School Board, which is one of the largest school districts in the state. He 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. John successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University. John, 64, is married to the former Cathy Marley and they currently reside in Rogers, AR. The couple has three daughters and one granddaughter.
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 policy, environmental protection, and conservation. Ranking first in seniority, Senator Leahy is President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also is the most senior member of the Agriculture and Appropriations committees, and serves on the Rules and Administration Committee. He chairs the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, and sits on its Defense; Interior, Environment; Commerce, Justice, Science; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; 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.
David Perdue is the junior Senator from Georgia. David has over 40 years of business experience as the former CEO of Reebok athletic brand and Dollar General stores, where he created thousands of quality jobs and helped working families make it from payday to payday. David was born in Macon, Georgia and raised in Warner Robins where he grew up working on his family farm. Both of David’s parents were school teachers, and from an early age David was taught the importance of hard work and a good education. At Georgia Tech, David earned a degree in Industrial Engineering and a master’s in Operations Research while working warehouse and construction jobs. After graduating, he married his wife Bonnie, whom he had met in the first grade and they have been married for 42 years. David's interest in public service was sparked when he realized that today’s America is at risk of being worse off than previous generations. In 2014, David won a decisive victory to the U.S. Senate, despite having never before been elected to office, on the promise that he will fight for term limits for politicians, help reign in out-of-control spending, grow the economy, create jobs, and tackle our nation's debt crisis. For the 114th Congress, David serves on the Agriculture Committee; Budget Committee; Foreign Relations Committee; Judiciary Committee; and the Special Committee on Aging. David was also tapped to lead two important subcommittees and serves as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the State Department and USAID Management as well as the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources. David and Bonnie live in Glynn County, Georgia and attend Wesley United Methodist Church. They have two sons and three grandsons, who are their inspiration for coming to the U.S. Senate.
Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, was elected to Congress in 2002. He is a strong advocate for national defense, taxpayers, and small businesses. An enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, he also is a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. Representative Cole serves on the House Appropriations Committee and its Defense and Interior, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittees. He also serves on the House Budget and the House Rules committees. Widely regarded as one of the GOP's top political strategists, Representative Cole serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference and is a member of the Republican Steering Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Congressional Advisory Board to the Aspen Institute. Representative Cole was awarded the Congressional Leadership award by the National Congress of American Indians in both 2007 and 2011, and was inducted in the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2004. He holds a PhD from the University of Oklahoma and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London.
Sam Johnson, a Republican from Texas and a member of the House since 1991, is a decorated war hero who flew fighter jets in the Korean and Vietnam wars and endured nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, including 42 months in solitary confinement. Following his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, he established a home-building business in Texas and served in the Texas State legislature. Representative Johnson is currently a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Social Security Subcommittee and serves on the Joint Committee on Taxation. In 2009, he was recognized by his peers as the “most admired” Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and was awarded the National Patriot Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's highest civilian accolade, for his work on behalf of American troops, veterans, and freedom. In 2011, he accepted the Living Legends of Aviation's “Freedom of Flight” award. Representative Johnson represents the Board of Regents on the Advisory Board of the National Air and Space Museum.
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.
Barbara Barrett of Paradise Valley, Arizona, is the owner of Triple Creek Guest Ranch in Montana and serves on the boards of RAND, Sally Ride Science, and Aerospace corporations; the Horatio Alger Association; and the Lasker and Space foundations. Previously, she was Interim President of Thunderbird School of Global Management, U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, CEO of the American Management Association, a Teaching Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School, a partner in a large Phoenix law firm, and a member of the boards of Raytheon, Exponent, Piper Aircraft, Mayo Clinic, Hershey School and Trust, and Harvard's Institute of Politics. During the Reagan Administration, she served as the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Vice Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board. She was President of the International Women's Forum, Chairman of the Secretary of Commerce's Export Conference, and Chairman of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Ambassador Barrett participates with the Global Leadership Foundation, Club of Madrid, World Economic Forum, and Council on Foreign Relations. She is an instrument-rated pilot and certified astronaut.
Steve M. Case, a resident of McLean, Virginia, is an entrepreneur, innovator, and philanthropist who invests in diverse for-profit and nonprofit enterprises. In April 2005, he launched Revolution, a company that seeks to drive transformative change by partnering with entrepreneurs to build businesses that give people more choice, control, and convenience in important areas of their lives. 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 and helped transform how people communicate, learn, and conduct business. Mr. Case is the Co-Founder and 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 chairs the Startup America Partnership, co-chairs the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and serves on President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competiveness. He is Chairman of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, a founding organizer of Business Strengthening America, and has served as Vice Chair of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy.
John Fahey of Washington, D.C., has served as Chairman of the National Geographic Society since January 2011. 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 President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields and a Fortune 100 financial services organization. Mr. Ferguson is the former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. He represented the Federal Reserve on several international policy groups and served on key Federal Reserve System committees, including Payment System Oversight, Reserve Bank Operations, and Supervision and Regulation. As the only Governor in Washington, D.C. on 9/11, he led the Fed’s initial response to the terrorist attacks, taking actions that kept the U.S. financial system functioning while reassuring the global financial community that the U.S. economy would not be paralyzed. Prior to joining TIAA in April 2008, Mr. Ferguson was head of financial services for Swiss Re, Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, and a member of the company’s executive committee. From 1984 to 1997, he was an Associate and Partner at McKinsey & Company. He began his career as an attorney at the New York City office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Mr. Ferguson is a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and co-chairs its Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. He serves on the boards of Alphabet, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; and International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. He is Chairman of The Conference Board and serves on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Study and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a fellow of the American Philosophical Society and a member of the Economic Club of New York, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Group of Thirty. Mr. Ferguson served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as well as its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and he co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Long-Run Macro-Economic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population. 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. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was named the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) Professor of Population Health and Health Equity at the University of Pennsylvania, with appointments in the Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and the Wharton School, effective January 1, 2018. 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.
John McCarter is the former Chair of the Board of Regents, Smithsonian Institution. He is President Emeritus of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, where he served as President and CEO for sixteen years. He is a Board Member of Argonne National Laboratory, the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the National Recreation Foundation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (USA), and the Prize to End Blindness by 2020. He is an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Chicago; former Trustee of Princeton University; Emeritus Trustee and former Chairman of Chicago’s Public Television Station, WTTW. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on five corporate and three mutual fund boards in capacities as lead director and chair of audit, governance and compensation committees. A native Chicagoan, he was formerly: Senior Vice President of Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc., President of DeKalb Corporation, Budget Director of the State of Illinois under Governor Richard B. Ogilvie, and a White House Fellow during the Administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. Mr. McCarter received an M.B.A. from Harvard University, attended the London School of Economics and graduated from Princeton University in 1960.
David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing $174 billion from 31 offices around the world. Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Following Duke, Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of The Law Review. From 1973-1975, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. From 1975-1976, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman). Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations; a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation; a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art, the University of Chicago, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Institute for Advanced Study; and President of the Economic Club of Washington. Mr. Rubenstein is the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Brookings Institution, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Business Council, Harvard Global Advisory Council (Chairman), Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Business School at Harvard, Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, and Board of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community. Mr. Rubenstein has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Duke University and Co-Chairman of the Board of the Brookings Institution.