Local
director

Lonnie Bunch to Become New Smithsonian Institution Leader

What to Know

  • Lonnie Bunch was the first director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • He shepherded the collection of more than 40,000 items and the creation of the museum on the National Mall

The founding director of the Smithsonian's museum about African American history will now lead the entire system of museums and parks.

The Smithsonian Institution on Tuesday named Lonnie Bunch as its 14th secretary. Bunch was the first director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

He'll now lead the world's largest museum, education and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoological Park. Bunch becomes the first African American to lead the Smithsonian, beginning his new position June 16. He'll be replaced as interim director by Spencer Crew. 

Bunch was hired in 2005 and shepherded the collection of more than 40,000 items and the creation of the museum on the National Mall. It opened in 2016.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us