Lonnie G. Bunch

Smithsonian Institution
Historian; Museum administrator and curator
Humanities and Arts
Lonnie Bunch is an historian specializing in the cultural, social and political history of the African American community. His publications concentrate on the role race plays in our changing society, with his work ranging from treatment of slave narratives to contemporary issues. He is among our foremost public historians, having served as chief curator at the National Museum of American History, and led the Chicago Historical Society. His current achievement is as director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He led its conceptualization, organized its White House, Congressional, scholarly, community, philanthropic support, raised $540 million for its construction, overseen its exhibitions, and developed its 40,000 items. The museum opened next to the Washington Monument in September 2016 and tells the story of America through an African American lens--a benefit to all in our nation and beyond at a particularly crucial time in our civic life.
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