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Smithsonian Latino Museum announces board of trustees with many familiar faces

Smithsonian announces members of the National Museum of the American Latino Board of Trustees

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The Smithsonian recently announced 17 new appointments to serve on the Board of Trustees of the future National Museum of the American Latino, and among them are various familiar faces. 

The 17 trustees will help bolster the process of the museum's development by overseeing the administration and formation of the museum’s future collections during the development of the first national Smithsonian museum dedicated to the history and culture of American Latinos.

The board of trustees will advise the Board of Regents and make recommendations on the location, planning, design and construction of the museum, as well as promoting fundraising efforts. They will also assist in acquiring artifacts for display as well as provide for the maintenance of collections. 

Among them, Sofía Vergara, Eva Longoria, Emilio Estefan, and chef José Andrés have been appointed to the board of trustees of the planned National Museum of the American Latino, the Smithsonian Board of Regents announced on June 29.

“This is a Board of Trustees that vividly reflects the fabric of America, while also giving Latinos long-overdue representation at the highest levels of government, when it comes to sharing and preserving our history,” said Lili Gil Valletta, Board Chair of Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (FRIENDS).

The members of the Board of Trustees are as follows:

Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian (ex officio)

Kevin Gover, the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Museums and Culture (ex officio)

Margarita Paláu-Hernández, chair of the Smithsonian National Latino Board

Franklin D. Raines, member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents

Raul A. Anaya, president of business banking for Bank of America

José Andrés, restaurateur, chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup; creator of World Central Kitchen

Emilio Estefan, Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and TV producer; co-founder of the Gloria Estefan Foundation

Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer for Target Corp.

Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; former publisher of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald

Eva Longoria, award-winning actor and producer; founder of the Eva Longoria Foundation

Dr. J. Mario Molina, principal of JM Molina Investments; former CEO of Molina Healthcare

Henry R. Muñoz III, chairman emeritus of Muñoz & Co.

José Luis Prado, executive advisor partner with Wind Point Partners; former president of Quaker Oats North America

Alfredo Rivera, president of Coca-Cola North America

Sofía Vergara, Emmy-nominated actress, television producer, presenter and model

 

The members of Congress appointed to the board are:

 

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), appointed by the Congressional Hispanic Conference

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), appointed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

 

The first-ever Smithsonian Museum dedicated to Latinos has faced an uphill battle for decades, in a similar fashion to the Smithsonian museum on the National Museum of African American History, as well as the Culture and National Museum of the American Indians. 

The National Museum of African American History and Culture itself was 100 years in the making, and a testament to the many roadblocks advocates have navigated to this day. When The National Museum of African American History and Culture was finally established by Congress in 2003, it took over a decade for it to be executed and open to the public in 2016.

This newly announced board of trustees in part will serve to make sure the designation, construction, and development of the museum will go on.

According to the Smithsonian, the first meeting of the trustees is being planned for Fall 2021. The board members serve without pay for one- to three-year terms and may be reappointed by the Board of Regents for a total of two terms.

A site selection process is currently underway, and an architectural engineering firm will be hired to conduct the evaluations for the National Museum of the American Latino.

Both museums will be located on or near the National Mall, according to legislation.

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