Smithsonian names Lonnie Bunch as its new secretary
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Smithsonian names Lonnie Bunch as its new secretary

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The Smithsonian Institution’s board has elected Lonnie G. Bunch III as the organisations new secretary.

Bunch, the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), will take up the role on 16 June and will be the first African American to lead the Smithsonian.

He was the driving force of establishing and securing a dedicated site for the NMAAHC collection, which finally opened in 2016.

He has spent more than 35 years in the museums industry and is regarded as one of the leading figures in the US' historical community.

Lonnie Bunch guided, from concept to completion, the complex effort to build the premier museum celebrating African American achievements,” said John G. Roberts, Jr., Smithsonian chancellor and chief justice of the US.

“I look forward to working with him as we approach the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary, to increase its relevance and role as a beloved American institution and public trust.”

Commenting on his appointment, Bunch said: “I'm humbled and honored to become the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

“I'm excited to work with the Board of Regents and my colleagues throughout the Institution to build upon its legacy and to ensure that the Smithsonian will be even more relevant and more meaningful and reach more people in the future.”

Bunch is also a prolific and widely published author and has written on topics ranging from the black military experience to the American presidency to the impact of race in the American West.

He has also written extensively about diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums.

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The Smithsonian Institution’s board has elected Lonnie G. Bunch III as the organisations new secretary.
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