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G. Wayne Smith, the director of the Smithsonian Institution, announced Wednesday that he plans on stepping down next year.
The Smithsonian announced that Smith will be leaving his post as secretary in October 2014. He held the position for six years, starting in July 2008 and had previously been the president of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“When I became Secretary in 2008, I believed strongly that the Smithsonian had enormous untapped potential, especially in digital technology, to reach millions of people and serve as a resource for those who cannot visit Washington,” Clough stated. “I am confident that with our initiatives underway in bioconservation, education, digitization and fundraising, this is the right time to announce my plans for next fall so that an orderly transition can begin.”
According to the NY Times, Clough oversaw the appointment of 10 new heads for the different Smithsonian institutions throughout Washington. He also saw the beginning of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will open in 2015.
Clough notified Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts of his decision, since Roberts is also the Chancellor of the Smithsonian.
“Your enthusiastic embrace of the Smithsonian’s mission has earned the public’s admiration and support, which is so vital as the Institution tackles the many ongoing challenges,” Roberts told Clough in a response. “For now, the Regents are fortunate to have your continued leadership, dedication and wisdom. We are looking forward to the exciting plans for the year to come.”
John W. McCarter Jr., the vice-chairman of the Smithsonian’s board of regents, will lead the committee to find Clough’s successor.