Lonnie G. Bunch III (born November 18, 1952) is an American educator and historian. Bunch is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the first African American and first historian to serve as head of the Smithsonian.[a][b] He has spent most of his career as a history museum curator and administrator.
Bunch served as the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) from 2005 to 2019. He previously served as president and director of the Chicago History Museum (Chicago Historical Society) from 2000 to 2005. In the 1980s, he was the first curator at the California African American Museum, and then a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, wherein the 1990s, he rose to head curatorial affairs. In 2020 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.