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The Smithsonian appoints advisory council for new women’s history museum

The Smithsonian has appointed an advisory council for a new museum in Washington, D.C., the American Women’s History Museum.

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The Smithsonian‘s Board of Regents has appointed an advisory council comprised of 25 members for the new Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.

The council includes 19 citizens, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch, a member of the Board of Regents and four members appointed by congress.

The council will advise the Board of Regents, offering recommendations on the location, planning, design and construction of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. It will also help with private fundraising and maintaining the collections.

“As someone who helped bring a museum to life on the National Mall, I know firsthand how indispensable an advisory board is,” said Bunch.

“We have been fortunate to enlist an extraordinary group to help envision, create and guide this new museum, enabling the Smithsonian to expand the breadth and vividness of the American story by illuminating the essential contributions women have made to our nation.” 

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Smithsonian advisory council members

  • Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian
  • Barbara Barrett, member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents
  • Jane Abraham, former chair of the Congressional Commission to Study the Potential of a National Women’s History Museum
  • Catherine Allgor, president of the Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Mary Boies, counsel to Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
  • Tory Burch, executive chairman and chief creative officer of Tory Burch LLC
  • Lynda Carter, actress, singer, songwriter and producer
  • Jean Case, chairman of the National Geographic Society and CEO of the Case Impact Network and The Case Foundation
  • Melissa Fetter, former vice president of JP Morgan
  • Edna Kane-Williams, chief diversity officer at AARP
  • Billie Jean King, winner of 39 Grand Slam tennis titles and founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative
  • Singleton McAllister, of counsel at Husch Blackwell LLP
  • Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners and former US secretary of commerce
  • Abbe Raven, chairman emeritus of A+E Networks and former chair of the National Museum of American History
  • Vivian Riefberg, director emeritus with McKinsey & Company and David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Chair at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia
  • Martine Rothblatt, founder of United Therapeutics and SiriusXM
  • S. Mona Sinha, co-founder of Raising Change and founder of the Asian Women’s Leadership University
  • Cara Sylvester, executive vice president and chief marketing and digital officer for Target Corporation

Members of Congress on the council include Carolyn Maloney and Jackie Walorski, but Senate members are pending. Three additional candidates are also pending.

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“The founding council members come from a wide range of backgrounds and industries, but they each possess the same passion for gender equity and uplifting women’s voices,” said Lisa Sasaki, interim director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.

“They have broken through barriers and shattered expectations, making them uniquely qualified to lead a new museum that aims to do the same.”

The Smithsonian is currently carrying out a site-selection process. Architectural firm Ayers Saint Gross will conduct the site evaluations for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino.

Images: Smithsonian

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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