Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Richard Kurin Named Smithsonian Undersecretary

From an American Folklore Society email newsletter...

Richard Kurin Named Smithsonian Undersecretary

New Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough has named AFS member Dr. Richard Kurin as the Smithsonian's Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture. For over two decades before this new appointment, Kurin has served as the Director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, overseeing the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Ralph Rinzler Archives, and Smithsonian Global Sound, as well as the Center's cultural policy work. From 2004 to 2007 he also directed the Smithsonian's national programs.

Kurin is a former Fulbright fellow with a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books including Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem, Reflections of a Cultural Broker: A View from the Smithsonian, and Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Culture Of, By, and For the People, as well as scores of scholarly chapters and articles. He has been awarded the Smithsonian Secretary's Gold Medal for Exceptional Service and the AFS's Benjamin A. Botkin Prize for lifetime achievement in public folklore.

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