On March 15, 2008, the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents announced that Dr. G. Wayne Clough, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, had been unanimously elected the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He will officially assume the office on July 1, 2008.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the Regents were closely divided over the decision to appoint Clough instead of the current acting Secretary Christian Samper. Samper had taken the helm after the scandal-plagued Lawrence M. Small resigned as Smithsonian Secretary on March 26, 2007. Samper will now return to his position as the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Clough, 66, became president of Georgia Tech in 1994. Prior to becoming Georgia Tech’s president, Clough—a graduate of the university’s civil engineering program—was Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Washington. He served as dean of the College of Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University after being promoted from professor of civil engineering to head of the civil engineering department. He also was an associate professor at Stanford University and Duke University.
Clough earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Georgia Tech in 1964 and 1965 and his doctorate in civil engineering in 1969 from University of California at Berkeley.