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Lonnie G. Bunch  

Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lonnie G. Bunch III is an American educator and historian. He has spent much of his career as a history museum curator and administrator. He is the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch previously served as director of the Chicago History Museum (Chicago Historical Society) from 2000 to 2005.

Bunch started working at the Smithsonian Institution while he was working on his Ph.D. After graduating, he was hired as a history professor at the University of Maryland. In 1983, he became the first curator at the California African American Museum. He worked at the National Museum of American History from 1989 until 1994 as a curator. He was promoted to Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the museum before leaving in 2000 to become the president of one of the nation's oldest museums in history, the Chicago Historical Society, from 2001-2005. In 2005, Bunch was named the director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture. He served on the Commission for the Preservation of the White House during the George W. Bush administration and was reappointed to the Commission by President Obama in 2010.

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