Big news this week at the Smithsonian, as Brent Glass, director of one of the Institution’s most popular destinations, the National Museum of American History, has announced that he will be stepping down as of July 10th. Glass took over as director nearly a decade ago, in 2002, after serving as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for 15 years. Under his command at the National Museum of American History, he oversaw a dozens upon dozens of new exhibitions and the $85 million renovation to the museum’s building, which was completed in late 2008, the largest and most extensive reconstruction effort to the museum to date. After Glass takes his leave, he plans to stay on with the Smithsonian as a senior advisor throughout the remainder of the year, after which it sounds at though he’ll be moving into the private sector for good. Here’s his statement:
It has been an honor and joy to further the Smithsonian mission for the past nine years by working to increase awareness of American history and national memory. I am enormously proud of the museum staff and their team efforts. We transformed the museum and created a new public square on the National Mall. We acquired new collections, created more than 50 exhibitions and hundreds of public programs, and launched innovative online projects. We have enjoyed record attendance, and visitors love the museum.
Now, after more than 35 years in government service, I am leaving in response to expanding opportunities to promote history education, historical literacy and public memory nationally and internationally.
We wonder: does this exit make Glass eligible for Wayne Clough‘s early retirement buyout bonus?