Smithsonian Names Tsione Wolde-Michael as Executive Director of PCAH

December 16, 2022

Wolde-Michael smiling and wearing a pink blazer

Tsione Wolde-Michael has been named executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), which has been established to engage leading figures in the arts, humanities, and museum and library services across the nation. Under a recent Executive Order issued by President Biden, artists, humanities scholars, and cultural heritage practitioners will be consulted on ways to promote civic and economic equity and health through the arts and humanities.

Wolde-Michael will be both the youngest and first Black individual to direct PCAH and lead the Committee of twenty-five non-Federal leaders from the arts, humanities, and cultural heritage sectors. She will be responsible for leading strategy and engagement measures for PCAH. In addition to the twenty-five non-Federal leaders, the Committee will include Institute of Museum and Library and Services (IMLS) Director Crosby Kemper, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). The committee’s purpose will be to advise the President on policy objectives, partnerships, and programs that draw support for and enrich arts, humanities, and museum and library services nationwide.

Previous founding Director of the Smithsonian’s Center for Restorative History, Wolde-Michael has experience bringing marginalized voices to the forefront of public forums. She has served as curator of African American Social Justice History with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and her work has assisted the museum in diversifying its collections and exhibitions as well as extending outreach and creating long-term community partnerships. She holds a bachelor’s degree in women and gender studies from Macalester College and a master’s degree in history from Harvard University, and her position will be hosted at the IMLS.

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