2023 Gala Honoree

Lonnie G. Bunch lll

Honoree Headshot: L. Bunch


Lonnie G. Bunch lll

Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his position June 16, 2019. As Secretary, he oversees 21 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers. Two new museums—the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum—are in development. Bunch was the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch chronicled the creation of the museum in his book, A Fool’s Errand: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama and Trump, and is the first historian to be Secretary of the Institution. In 2021, he received France’s highest award, The Legion of Honor.

Watch Secretary Bunch reflect on the power of place — central to this year’s gala, a celebration of 97 Orchard Street’s reopening.

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