WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today issued the following statement on the appointment of Lonnie Bunch, III as the Secretary of the Smithsonian:

“I am pleased by today’s historic announcement that Lonnie Bunch has been named the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian and the first African American to serve in this position.

“Mr. Bunch’s four decades of museum experience and his tremendous success in building the National Museum of African American History and Culture from the ground up make him the right person to lead our nation’s extraordinary federally-supported consortium of museums, research centers, and a zoo. The Smithsonian Institution’s diverse holdings and rich treasures reflect the greatness of America, and I can think of no one better to serve at its helm.

“Mr. Bunch has demonstrated his ability to build and steward collections, fundraise to support the preservation of these remarkable artifacts, and to tell the story of our country’s artistic and human experiences.

“I congratulate him on this appointment and commit to supporting the important work he is undertaking with this endeavor.”