Deputy Director Mary Augusta Thomas (pictured, center, with Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture and Alison McNally, Under Secretary for Finance and Administration) was a graduate of the Inaugural Class of the Smithsonian Leadership Development Program.
The Smithsonian Leadership Development Program was created in 2007 with two major goals in mind: to begin the process of building a leadership pipeline and to grow a strong, committed and innovative pan-Institutional leadership team from across the Smithsonian.
Eleven diverse and highly talented employees were competitively selected to pursue an ambitious program incorporating the best practices in leadership development, and to focus on the unique competencies and leadership attributes required to effectively lead at the Smithsonian.
During the program´s intensive eighteen months, these professionals addressed issues that currently define the Smithsonian – its establishment, collections, research, exhibitions and educational outreach – but with an eye to the future. The inaugural class chose as the theme for their year´s learning, and their subsequent group management projects, a focus on "Partnerships & Collaboration."