Aug
30

Deborah Mack will head “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with our Racial Past”

Dr. Mack assumed leadership of the multi-year initiative August 27.

Kevin Gover, Under Secretary for Museums and Culture, announced today that Dr. Deborah Mack is the new director of the Smithsonian’s national initiative, “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with our Racial Past,” effective August 27. Since 2012, Dr. Mack has been Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, responsible for overall planning, management and coordination of professional partnership programs and international activities, including strategic alliances that promote organizational capacity building and sustainability, professional development and institutional best practices. From March 2020 through July of this year, she also served as interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Dr. Mack has a long history with the Smithsonian, having served on the advisory Smithsonian Council from 1999 – 2005 and from 2005-2011 on the NMAAHC Scholarly Advisory Committee. In addition, she has extensive experience as a consultant, advising on museum organizational and strategic planning, on interpretive and exhibition development, and on cultural and heritage tourism with organizations nationwide and internationally. 

Dr. Mack holds both doctoral and master’s degrees in anthropology from Northwestern University. Her bachelor’s degree in geography is from the University of Chicago. She currently serves as peer reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Trust for Historic Places.

“Deborah Mack’s academic credentials, leadership expertise and career of active professional service make her the ideal person to guide ‘Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past’ as part of the Smithsonian’s ongoing conversation about the history and legacy of race and racism in the United States and beyond,” Gover said. “This initiative, created at a pivotal moment in American history, draws on the breadth of the Smithsonian’s expertise, research and collections to help advance the work of others by providing resources and experiences featuring real conversations from local communities and national events.”

“Please join me in welcoming Deborah Mack to her new role as director of ‘Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Shared Past,’ “Gover continued.

For those of you interested in learning more about the initiative, you can find information at “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with our Racial Past,” which includes the recording of last week’s inaugural summit.

If you are unable to view the video here please use this link:

For those of you interested in learning more about the initiative, you can find information at “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with our Racial Past,” which includes the recording of last week’s inaugural summit.


Posted: 30 August 2021
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni is primarily responsible for "other duties as assigned" in the Office of Communications and External Affairs. She has been with the Smithsonian since 2006 and plans to be interred in the Smithson crypt.

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