Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, where he oversees 21 museums, including two new museums in development, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, research centers, and several education units and centers. Previously, Bunch was the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch has written on topics ranging from the black military experience, the American presidency and African American history in California, diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums. Bunch has held teaching positions at American University, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University of Massachusetts, and George Washington University. Bunch has served on the advisory boards of the American Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History. In 2019, he was awarded the Freedom Medal for his contribution to American culture as a historian and storyteller, the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University, and the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. In 2021, the Society of American Historians awarded Bunch the Tony Horwitz Prize, and he received France’s highest award, the Legion of Honor. Bunch received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the American University in Washington, D.C.
“Museums always take a point of view by what they choose to exhibit and what they decide not to exhibit.” Lonnie G. Bunch III