Smithsonian Institution
18 October 2023

In Conversation with Secretary Lonnie Bunch

The Wereldmuseum Amsterdam and CLUE+ The Interfaculty Research Institute for Culture, Cognition, History and Heritage from the VU Amsterdam, are delighted to invite Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian, on October 18th 2023 for a (closed) event for students - in conversation with Director of Content, Wayne Modest.

For more information and registration please reach out to:


When: 18 October 2023, 13.30 - 15.10
Where: The event will be held at the Maurits Hall of the KIT Building: Mauritskade 64, 1092 AD Amsterdam


13.30: Coffee greeting and check in


13.45 – 14.30: Conversation with Secretary Bunch and Wayne Modest 


14.30 – 15.05: Q&A with students


15.05 - 15.10: Final remarks


15.10: End

About the speaker

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.

Previously, Bunch was the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. When he started as director in July 2005, he had one staff member, no collections, no funding and no site for a museum. Driven by optimism, determination and a commitment to build “a place that would make America better,” Bunch transformed a vision into a bold reality. The museum has welcomed more than 8 million visitors since it opened in September 2016 and has compiled a collection of 40,000 objects that are housed in the first “green building” on the National Mall. In 2019, the creation of the museum became the first Smithsonian effort to be the topic of a Harvard Business Review case study.

Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history.

Lonnie Bunch