News Staff Report
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian announced today six new members, including an official of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, are joining its Board of Trustees in 2021.
The board has also elected new leadership. Five members were confirmed by the Institution’s Board of Regents at their Feb. 1 meeting; confirmation of the sixth is anticipated at the Board’s April 12 meeting.
PCI’s Robbie McGhee was one of the newly named trustees. McGhee is vice chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Council.
He previously worked at the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Senate and Troutman Sanders LLP-Indian Law Practice Group.
He currently serves on the boards of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Children First Alabama and the Center for Native American Youth.
The Board of Trustees elected Kathy Hopinkah Hannan to serve as its chair. Hannan is a retired executive of KMPG LLP, where she served as a global lead partner, national managing partner and a vice chairman. She is the recent past chairman and national president of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Hannan succeeds Bill Lomax (Gitxsan), a vice president in the investment management division of Goldman Sachs, who will finish his term on the board as chair emeritus.
Greg Sarris, tribal chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, was elected to serve as vice chair, and Allison Hicks (Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation), vice president and co-owner of New World Environmental Inc., will serve as the board’s secretary.
“I am pleased to have been elected as chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian,” said Hannan. “My fellow board members and I are eager to be advocates for this great national museum and to bring its work to more people across the country and around the world. We look forward to working with museum staff to build on recent successes like the opening of the National Native American Veterans Memorial.”
“I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for their tireless work on behalf of the museum,” said Machel Monenerkit, the museum’s acting director. “Their support enables the museum—and the Smithsonian—to fulfill its vision of pursuing equity and social justice for Native peoples through education, inspiration and empowerment.”
The Board of Trustees was established by the National Museum of the American Indian Act, the enabling legislation which created the museum in 1989. The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees include stewardship of the collections (including purchases, gifts, loans and sales, as well as provision for the preservation and maintenance of the collections); budget, including general authority to recommend annual budgets to the Board of Regents, approve expenditures from the museum’s endowment, solicit private funds and determine the purposes to which such funds should be applied; devising and assisting with regards to operations, including the authority to advise and assist the Board of Regents on matters such as administration, operation, maintenance and preservation of the museum.
There are 23 individual members of the board who are appointed by the Board of Regents. Also serving on the Board of Trustees are the Secretary of the Smithsonian and an Under Secretary of the Smithsonian appointed by the Regents.