Smithsonian Names Members of Council, Advisory

Smithsonian Names Members of Council, Advisory
Committee for National African American History Museum

WASHINGTON

Dr. Michael L. Lomax

H. Patrick Swygert


The Smithsonian Board of Regents, the institution’s governing body, named the members of the founding Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in early December. The new museum will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture.

The first federal appropriation for the museum — $3.9 million — has been approved as part of the Smithsonian’s FY 2005 budget. The funds will be used for engineering studies, planning and staffing.

The members of the new 19-person council, which includes leaders from business, academia and the arts, will serve terms of one, two or three years. The council will advise the 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. A representative from the Smithsonian office of public relations says that the nominating committee narrowed their search from 100 to 35 candidates, and from there chose individuals who could do two specific things: bring distinction to the museum and; make contributions of service that would ensure collectively the launching of the museum.  

The 17 members appointed to the council are, in alphabetical order:

• Dr. James Ireland Cash, retired James E. Robison Professor and senior associate dean, Harvard Business School

• Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO, American Express Co.

• Ann M. Fudge, chairwoman and CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands

• James A. Johnson, vice chairman, Perseus L.L.C.

• Robert L. Johnson, founder and CEO, Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the RLJ Cos.

• Quincy Jones, producer and multimedia entrepreneur

• Ann D. Jordan, consultant for Northpoint Technology

• Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, United Negro College Fund

• Dr. Homer A. Neal, director of the University of Michigan-ATLAS Project and the Samuel A. Goudsmit Distinguished University Professor of Physics, University of Michigan

• E. Stanley O’Neal, chairman and CEO, Merrill Lynch & Co.

• Samuel J. Palmisano, chairman of the board and CEO, IBM Corp.

• Richard D. Parsons, chairman of the board and CEO, Time Warner Inc.

• Franklin D. Raines, chairman and CEO, Fannie Mae

• Linda Johnson Rice, president and CEO, Johnson Publishing Co. Inc.

• H. Patrick Swygert, president of Howard University

• Anthony Welters, president and CEO, AmeriChoice

• Oprah Winfrey, chairwoman, Harpo Inc.

In addition, Lawrence Small, secretary of the Smithsonian, and Wesley S. Williams Jr., chairman of the executive committee of the board of regents, serve on the council as ex officio members.

The council will meet for the first time during the first quarter of 2005.

In addition to the advisory council, which is called for in the legislation, the Smithsonian also announced that it will create a scholarly committee to work with the museum on issues relating to research, collections, educational programming and exhibitions. The committee will work with the museum’s director.

The initial committee members include:

• Drew S. Days III, professor of Law, Yale University, and former U.S. Solicitor General;

• Dr. John Hope Franklin, professor emeritus, Duke University;

• Deborah L. Mack, independent museum and academic consultant and curator,
Savannah, Ga.;

• Dr. Alfred Moss, professor of African American, U.S. social and U.S. religious history, University of Maryland; and
• Dr. Richard J. Powell, professor of art history, Duke University

President George W. Bush signed the legislation to create the museum in December 2003, officially establishing the museum within the Smithsonian. 



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