National Museum of American History Names Four New Board Members

October 7, 2009
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has added Rep. Doris O. Matsui, Allbritton Communications executive Frederick J. Ryan Jr. and former Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman to its advisory board effective October. Abbe Raven of A&E Television Networks was also recently named to the board. The Smithsonian’s Board of Regents approved the four candidates for three-year terms.

The museum’s board was established in 1996 and is chaired by John F.W. Rogers of Goldman, Sachs and Co. With the new additions, the board has 26 members, including historians, community business leaders and philanthropists. Members of the board advise the director on programs, exhibitions, facilities, development and finance.

“The addition of four distinguished Americans to our board fulfills our goal of involving public and private sector leaders in the important work of this museum. We welcome the new members, and I am confident we will benefit from both their experience and expertise,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum.

Matsui represents California’s fifth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in 2005, Matsui is a member of the House Rules Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. From 1993 to 1998, she was a member of the transition team for the Clinton administration and an economic and budget liaison between the public and private sectors. Matsui serves on the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents and is the co-chair of the National Service Caucus. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ryan is the president of Allbritton Communications Co., a leading television broadcaster whose holdings including multiple ABC affiliate stations, News Channel 8 and Politico. President since 2001, Ryan also holds the positions of chief operating officer, vice chairman and director. During the Reagan administration, he served as the assistant to the President from 1982 to 1989 and as chief of staff from 1989 to 1995. Currently, he is the chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation and the vice chairman of the White House Historical Association. Ryan is a graduate of University of Southern California and USC Law School.

Taubman was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Romania in 2005 by President George W. Bush, a position he held until 2008. Prior to his ambassadorship, he served as president of Mozart Investments of Roanoke, Va., and as the chairman and president of Advance Auto Parts for more than 30 years. Taubman served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the Roanoke City Council in the late 1970s. The Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke is named in honor of both his and his family’s philanthropy. Currently a trustee of the Virginia Historical Society, Taubman is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he studied economics.

Raven is president and CEO of A&E Television Networks, encompassing A&E Network, History, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Bio, History International, Lifetime Real Women, Military History Channel, History en español, Crime & Investigation Network, Lifetime Digital, AETN International and AETN Consumer Products. In October 2009, Raven will be inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. She received the 2005 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership from the National Cable Television Association. Over the past seven years, Raven has been named one of The Power 100 Women in Entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter and Cable World’s Top 50 Most Influential Women in Cable. Raven holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Buffalo, where she was a fellow of the Center of Theater Research, and a master’s degree in cinema and theater from Hunter College.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. After a two-year renovation and a dramatic transformation, the museum shines new light on American history, both in Washington and online. To learn more about the museum, check http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).