Lonnie Bunch - Secretary of the Smithsonian
November 6, 2019
Malott Room, 6th Floor Kansas Union
Lonnie G. Bunch III is making history as the first African-American and historian to serve as the Secretary of the Smithsonian. He is also the first museum director in 74 years to assume the role. As Secretary, he supervises 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers. Bunch also founded the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which he started with barely any resources. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is now the nation’s largest and most comprehensive institution devoted to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. He has also served as president of the Chicago Historical Society, associate director for curatorial affairs at the National Museum of American History, and curator of history and program manager for the California African American Museum. Bunch has written on topics ranging from the black military experience, the American presidency and all-black towns in the American West to diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums.