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Courtesy of Anthea M. Hartig

Anthea M. Hartig is the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the first woman to hold the position since the museum opened in 1964. Hartig oversees 231 employees, a budget of more than $54.5 million and a collection that includes 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archives. She officially began her tenure on February 18, 2019. Through its incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a just and compassionate future by exploring, preserving, and sharing the complexity of the nation’s past. Hartig is currently leading a vibrant new strategic plan to take the museum through the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026 and beyond. It challenges the museum to be the most accessible, inclusive, relevant, and sustainable public history institution. An award-winning public historian and cultural heritage expert, Hartig is the president-elect of the Organization of American Historians. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she served as the executive director and CEO of the California Historical Society in San Francisco. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in history at the University of California, Riverside, her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles and studied as an undergraduate and graduate student at the College of William and Mary.

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