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Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton Submits Resignation, Will Depart in June



The leadership at Washington, D.C., arts institutions has been shifting rapidly recently, with Kaywin Feldman being picked last week to run the National Gallery of Art and Mary Anne Carter being named nominated to lead the National Endowment for the Arts in November. The latest news on the personnel front is that Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton tendered his resignation today, after three-and-a-half years on the job. He will step down in mid-June to become president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Skorton came to the Smithsonian from Cornell University, where he was president, and helped lead a fundraising campaign that brought in some $1.88 billion for the institution. The Post noted that his tenure was notably free of controversies, and that during his run the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened, and work began on a $1 billion renovation of the National Air and Space Museum. “I don’t take individual credit for anything on that list,” Skorton told the paper. “I’m proud of the partnerships.” He also oversaw the development of the 2017 Smithsonian Strategic Plan, which outlined efforts to improve community and digital engagement.

Discussing his new job with the Post, Skorton said, “The possibility of trying to contribute something to the national challenges of health care is important to me. This means going back and combining two passions of mine—higher education and health care.”

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