Claudine K. Brown has been named director of education for the Smithsonian Institution, effective June 20. Brown, 60, has been the director of the arts and culture program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York since 1995.
As the director of education, Brown will be responsible for defining the Smithsonian’s education program and will report directly to Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. She will develop an Institution-wide plan for educational initiatives, assessment strategies and funding for students in the K-12 range. Brown will oversee two of the Smithsonian’s educational organizations—the National Science Resources Center and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies—and coordinate the efforts of 32 education-based offices in museums and science centers.
Brown is not new to the Smithsonian. In 1990, she joined the Smithsonian to serve as director of the National African-American Museum Project. In this position, she coordinated the efforts of advisory committees that considered the role of the Smithsonian in the development of a national museum devoted to exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. She developed the Institution’s final study on the project and a program plan for the proposed museum. In 1991, she also became the deputy assistant secretary for the arts and humanities and developed policy for many Smithsonian museums.
As director of the arts and culture program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation since 1995, Brown has positioned the organization as a leading arts grantmaker that supports institutions that are committed to excellence, diversity and community involvement.
Brown earned her bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute in New York City and master’s degree in museum education from Bank Street College of Education. She earned her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.