Human Resources director retires after 40 years

Jim Douglas, Director of the Office of Human Resources, will retire from the Smithsonian on June 30 after 40 years of distinguished service.


head shot of Douglas

James Douglas

Douglas has led SI’s human resources activities since 2004, returning to the office where he began his Smithsonian tenure in 1977 as the Director of Labor & Employee Relations. From 1985 through 2004, he was a member of the Office of General Counsel, serving as the Acting General Counsel for a period of eight months in 1995 and as Deputy General Counsel from 1995 to 2004.

Douglas is a recipient of the Smithsonian’s Unsung Hero Award and was a frequent contributor to the Legal Issues of Museum Administration conference while with the Office of General Counsel. In addition, Douglas served as chair of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center from 2001–2003 and was a member of its board for four years.

Under Douglas’ leadership, the Smithsonian has been regularly recognized as one of the best places to work in the federal government. He also was the driving force behind the creation of our two signature leadership training programs (Palmer Leadership Development and Emerging Leaders Development Programs) and helped to secure the private gifts that have sustained these programs for the past nine years.


Posted: 4 May 2017
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