Lonnie G. Bunch III was elected as the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Tuesday by the collection of museums’ 17-member Board of Regents. Bunch will be the first African American to head the Smithsonian Institution in its 173-year history.
“I am humbled and honored to become the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,” Bunch said in a statement. “I am 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 the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He will take over for the outgoing secretary, David Skorton, on June 16.