As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

Profile profile for Lemelson_Dorothy

Dorothy Lemelson

NMAH Board Alumna; Chairman, The Lemelson Foundation

Dorothy Lemelson is Chairman of The Lemelson Foundation.  Along with her late husband Jerome Lemelson, she has been a supporter of invention and innovation in America.  Together, they created The Lemelson Foundation, which has funded programs to encourage entrepreneurship among young people.  The Lemelson family also created the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  In addition to her work with the Lemelson Foundation, Dorothy also leads and funds the Lemelson Education and Assistance Program (LEAP), which works to improve children's lives primarily through the support of public education.  Prior to pursuing her philanthropic interests, Mrs. Lemelson was an interior designer and owner of Dorothy Ginsberg Associates in New Jersey. The recipient of many awards of recognition for her philanthropic efforts, Dorothy was presented with the Order of James Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution's highest honor for individuals who make transcendent contributions to the Institution, on May 5, 2002.  In her home state of Nevada, she was awarded the University of Nevada's President's Medal for her contributions to higher education. Additionally, she was named the 2001 Friend of Education by the Reno-Gazette Journal for programs she initiated to benefit the local school districts. Mrs. Lemelson was inducted into the Nevada Women's Fund Hall of Fame for her exemplary contributions, which continue to benefit the lives of Nevada's women and children. She lives in Portland OR.