avatar for Lonnie G. Bunch, III

Lonnie G. Bunch, III

Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Historian, author, curator, and educator, Lonnie G. Bunch, III is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.  The museum will be built on the national Mall on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument and opposite the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

As a public historian, a scholar who brings history to the people, Bunch has spent nearly 30 years in the museum field where he is regarded as one of the nation’s leading figures in the historical and museum community.  Bunch has served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society, one of the nation’s oldest museums of history; as the Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and as a Supervising Curator at the National Museum of American History; as an education specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum; and as the curator of history for the California Afro-American Museum in Los Angeles.

Among his many awards, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Commission for the Preservation of the White House in 2002 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. In 2005, Bunch was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals in the 20th century by the American Association of Museums and in 2009, Ebony Magazine named him one of its 150 most influential African Americans. In 2011, BET (Black Entertainment Television) selected Bunch to receive its BET Honors for outstanding service to American education. In 2012, he received the Chairman’s Award for Transformative Leadership from “100 Black Men”.

Bunch has held numerous teaching positions across the country including The American University in Washington, D.C., the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from The American University in Washington, D.C. 

He is married to Maria Marable Bunch, a museum educator.  They have two daughters, Sarah and Katie.

My Moderators Sessions

Wednesday, April 9

2:40pm CDT