Skip to Content


In Conversation with Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

Hosted by The Centre for Public History and the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast

April 23rd, 12:00-13:00

The Great Hall, Queen's University Belfast

Professor Olwen Purdue, director of the Centre for Public History at Queen's University Belfast, hosts Lonnie G. Bunch III, 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for a conversation on the role of museums in dealing with difficult pasts and divided presents.

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.