Department of State Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Smithsonian Institution

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 23, 2012

On Thursday, March 22, the Department of State signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Smithsonian Institution to define future collaboration between the two organizations. This partnership brings the world-renowned content of the Smithsonian to audiences around the world via the international reach of the Department.

At the ceremony, Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Kathleen Stephens and Under Secretary of History, Art and Culture for the Smithsonian Institution Richard Kurin highlighted key upcoming activities including sending the “Picturing the Promise: The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington” exhibit to embassies and the recent launch of the “Amazing Ocean” mobile app, based on content from the Sant Ocean Hall of the National Museum of Natural History.

The worlds of diplomacy and science and technology, of government-to-government relations and people to people exchanges, are more intertwined and interdependent than ever. By working together, we can expand our horizons by sharing resources, networks, people and program content.

Though the Smithsonian hosts almost 30 million visitors annually—a fraction of them international--to its museums in Washington, the Smithsonian, in this digital age, can reach billions around the planet. This partnership enables the Smithsonian and the Department of State to reach new audiences together.

Priority areas for collaboration include strengthening cultural and scientific exchanges, sharing Smithsonian collections and expertise with international audiences, consulting on international educational efforts, and developing effective responses to international cultural issues.

For further information contact Karen Schinnerer at or (202) 647-9901.

PRN: 2012/453