Melinda Machado

Director

M.A. in Government, George Washington University B.J. in Journalism, University of Texas at Austin B.A. in Government, University of Texas at Austin

Role in Museum: 

The Office of Public Affairs serves as central point for disseminating information about the Museum to the media and to the public via the Smithsonian's VIARC. We promote exhibitions, donations, events, research, and staff through strategic publicity campaigns, marketing, advertising, calendar submissions, and more. The office tracks and responds to all incoming media queries; develops strategies for effective proactive information about museum activities; coordinates documentary film crews, approves outside media releases by agencies/donors, approves advertisements promoting exhibitions and public programs and handles any crisis issues. Among the events that public affairs stages are press previews, press conferences, exhibition dedication ceremonies, donation ceremonies (usually involving objects and sometimes celebrity donors) and press luncheons. The office also facilitates all interviews with the director and curators and is responsible for coordinating and scheduling all media, documentary and commercial film crews.

Projects: 

My most memorable projects include putting together the dedication ceremony for the Museum's September 11: Bearing Witness to History exhibition; seeing the Star-Spangled Banner up close and knowing what it symbolizes for so many millions of people; the opportunity to contribute to Hispanic programming at the Museum with appearances by comedian Cheech Marin and designer Oscar de la Renta, and the fact that my job is different every single day.