News Releases

Rep. Doris Matsui Appointed to Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Council

May 5, 2008

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) has been named a member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture Council. Matsui replaces Walter Massey as the Board of Regents’ representative on the Council.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture.

The museum’s Council advises the Board of Regents on the planning and design of the museum; the acquisition and display of objects; and the administration, operation, maintenance and preservation of the museum.

"The Smithsonian is rightfully regarded as a national treasure, and I anticipate that the addition of the National Museum of African American History and Culture will only broaden the scope of the Smithsonian’s mission," said Matsui. "I am honored to be appointed to the Council and represent the Board of Regents. I am confident that we will be able to steer the planning of the museum to ensure that we stay true to the vision of James Smithson and bring increased knowledge to every person who crosses the threshold of the museum."

"We consider it a distinct honor to have the support of Rep. Matsui during this crucial stage of our development," said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. "I am certain we will benefit greatly from her guidance, her wisdom and her passion for the challenging work ahead."

The 18-member Council includes leaders from business, academia and the arts who will serve terms of one, two or three years. The Council members are as follows:

  • James Ireland Cash, James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus
  • Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Company
  • Ann M. Fudge, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Young & Rubicam Brands
  • James A. Johnson, vice chairman of Perseus L.L.C.
  • Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of RLJ Companies and founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of Black Entertainment Television
  • Quincy Jones, producer and multimedia entrepreneur
  • Ann D. Jordan, consultant for Northpoint Technology
  • Michael L. Lomax, president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund
  • Homer A. Neal, director of the University of Michigan-ATLAS Project and the Samuel A. Goudsmit Distinguished University Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan
  • E. Stanley O’Neal, former chairman and chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch & Company
  • Samuel J. Palmisano, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of IBM Corporation
  • Richard D. Parsons, chairman of Time Warner Inc.
  • Franklin D. Raines, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae
  • Linda Johnson Rice, president and chief executive officer of Johnson Publishing
    Company Inc.
  • H. Patrick Swygert, president of Howard University
  • Anthony Welters, executive vice president of United Health Group
  • Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Inc.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, making it the 19th Smithsonian museum. The Regents voted in January 2006 to build the museum on a five-acre site in the nation’s capital on the National Mall. An 18-month study is underway, in collaboration with Freelon Bond, an association of planning architects and designers, to examine the needs of the museum and determine what visitor-oriented features should be included in the interior space, from programming to exhibitions. The Constitution Avenue site is adjacent to the Washington Monument and opposite the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Construction is expected to be completed in 2015.

The museum opened its inaugural exhibition last fall at the International Center of Photography in New York in a unique collaboration with that museum and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, from whose collection the exhibition images were drawn. That exhibition, "Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Photographs," is on view at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans through June 2. A traveling version of the exhibition will tour nine cities, including Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Detroit; and Los Angeles.

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