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Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough Announces Retirement

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough Announces Retirement

Secretary Wayne Clough announced today he will retire from his position at the Smithsonian in October 2014 after having served more than six years as head of the Institution. Clough joined the Smithsonian in July 2008, succeeding Acting Secretary Cristián Samper. Before coming to the Smithsonian, Clough served as president of the Georgia Institute of Technology for 14 years.

The Smithsonian's governing body, the Board of Regents, will form a committee to conduct an international search for a new Secretary. Regent John McCarter Jr. will chair the search committee; Regent Shirley Ann Jackson will serve as vice chair.

"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 said. "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."

Clough notified John G. Roberts Jr., Smithsonian Chancellor and Chief Justice of the United States. In response, Roberts wrote, "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....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."

"Secretary Clough has served the Smithsonian with great distinction," said France A. Córdova, chair of the Smithsonian's Board of Regents. "He has led new initiatives to broaden access to millions more people around the world, raising the reputation of the Smithsonian at home and abroad. He has championed a visionary and inclusive strategic plan and overseen bold new facilities and projects. The Regents are grateful that Wayne will continue to serve until a successor is on board; we look forward to another outstanding year for the Smithsonian."

Clough is responsible for an annual budget of $1 billion (federal and non-federal funds), 6,400 employees and more than 6,200 volunteers. Since his arrival, the Smithsonian has raised $893 million from private contributions, which included a record-setting year in 2012 of $223 million. The Institution has started planning a national fundraising campaign to launch in fall 2014.

Clough points to the Smithsonian's first comprehensive, collaborative strategic plan as his signature project, which laid the foundation for the goals he wanted to achieve. Focused on four main themes, or Grand Challenges-biodiversity, world cultures, the universe and the American experience-the plan encompasses numerous projects and encourages entrepreneurship.

Clough hired new leaders for more than 10 Smithsonian museums and centers, including the National Zoo, National Museum of American History, National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of Natural History. He also created a new position, Assistant Secretary for Education and Access, to support education, one of his highest priorities.

Clough's lifelong commitment to education is evident in the museums, online and in the classroom. The Smithsonian now delivers educational materials to students and teachers in every state. Nearly 2,000 learning resources, linked to state standards, are available online. He also enhanced educational opportunities within the Smithsonian, which now hosts 800 fellows, 1,200 interns and approximately 800 research associates.

Clough also helped create dozens of partnerships with universities and cultural and scientific organizations to increase educational opportunities at the Smithsonian. A prime example is the creation of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation with George Mason University and a degree program in conservation biology.


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