Smithsonian names 2 under secretaries

Washington, D.C. (AP) 9-07

The Smithsonian Institution has named Richard Kurin acting under secretary for history and culture, and Alison McNally acting under secretary for finance and administration.

The two replace Deputy Secretary Sheila Burke, who announced her resignation in June amid criticism of the compensation and spending of the museum complex’s leaders. It followed the resignations of former Secretary Lawrence Small and Gary Beer, the chief of the Smithsonian’s business unit.

Acting Smithsonian Secretary Cristian Samper had said he was considering dividing the position into at least two separate jobs because Burke’s area of responsibility was “way too large.”

Kurin will be in charge of several museums and programs, including the National Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

McNally’s oversight duties will include facilities engineering and operations, finances, information and human resources.

Both positions, announced September 18th, are effective Oct. 1.