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The Smithsonian Institute's G. Wayne Clough is stepping down as director in October 2014.
While Clough is the director, his official title is secretary and he has been heading the Institute since 2008, The New York Times reports.
Clough announced his retirement early so the Smithsonian would have more than a year to find a replacement director. The vice-chairman of the board of regents, John W. McCarter Jr., will be heading the search committee looking to hire the new director.
Clough said, "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."
He added, "I am confident that with our initiatives under way in bioconservation, education, digitization and fund-raising, this is the right time" to announce retirement.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Clough is known for removing a short excerpt from A Fire in My Belly video from the "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
The excerpt showed ants crawling over a crucifix and had calls for the exhibition's removal by John A. Boehner and Eric Cantor. The 1987 video was made by David Wojnarowicz. Clough remarked that removing the excerpt was painful, but not censorship.
image: Wikimedia Commons