Best and brightest chosen for leadership development program

The Smithsonian Leadership Development Program was created in 2007 to cultivate the next generation of leaders at the Smithsonian. The program provides professional development, training and mentoring designed to create a pan-Institutional team ready to face the Smithsonian’s future challenges and opportunities. This year the program has been renamed the Russell E. Palmer Leadership Development Program to honor National Board Member Russell Palmer’s continued support and guidance of this important initiative.

Twenty-five participants from across the Smithsonian have been named to this year’s class. They are:

  • Susan Ades–National Zoo, Director of Exhibits
  • Wystan Benbow–Astrophysical Observatory, Astrophysicist
  • Kara Blond–Natural History, Chief of Exhibition Development and Project Management
  • Duane Blue Spruce–American Indian Museum, Facilities Planning Coordinator
  • Francisco Camacho–Office of the Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Specialist
  • Lucia DeRespinis–American Indian Museum, Director of Development & Communications
  • Timothy Grove–Air and Space, Chief of Education
  • Farhana Hossain–Office of Human Resources, Lead Human Resources Specialist
  • Tova Jaffe–Smithsonian Enterprises, Business Development and Finance Director
  • Jaya Kaveeshwar–Office of Planning, Management and Budget, Program and Budget Analyst
  • Christopher Lethbridge–Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, Architect/Project Manager
  • Bonnie Lilienfeld–American History, Deputy Chair and Supervisory Curator
  • Robert McKinney–Office of Protection Services, Security Manager Isabel Meyer–Office of the Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Specialist
  • Elizabeth Musteen Allison–Natural History, Chief of Multi-Media, Lighting and Graphic Production
  • Victoria Portway–Air and Space, Chair of Web & New Media
  • Budhan Pukazhenthi–Conservation Biology Institute, Research Physiologist
  • Alyssa Reiner–Office of Contracting &Personal Property Management, Attorney Advisor
  • Robert Robertson–American History, Director of Exhibit Technology Group
  • Mauricio Rodriguez–Office of Engineering Design & Construction, Design Manager and Mechanical Engineer
  • Deborah Swinson–Air and Space, Financial Manager
  • Michelle Torres-Carmona–Traveling Exhibition Service, Director of Scheduling & Exhibitor Relations
  • Amy Van Allen–American Indian Museum, Public Outreach Manager
  • Bill Watson–Natural History Museum, Chief of Learning Experiences and Evaluation
  • Lee Weigt–Natural History Museum, Head of Laboratories of Analytical Biology

This year’s Selection Board provided their expertise by investing countless hours reviewing files and coming to consensus:

  • John Benton, Associate Director for Management and Public Programs, NASM
  • Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Deputy Director, NMAAHC
  • Alan Chu, General Manager of Smithsonian magazine, SE
  • Zully Dorr, Deputy Director, OA
  • Bruce Kendall, Director, OFEO
  • Judith Leonard, General Counsel
  • Cristián Samper, Director, NMNH

Posted: 24 February 2012
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