Reception in honor of Dr. David Skorton, 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

L-R: Ambassador Peter Selfridge, Chief of Protocol at U.S. Dept of State, and his wife Parita Shah;
Dr. David Skorton; Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle

Washington, D.C. – The newest Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution* - the world's largest museum and research center - Dr. David J. Skorton**, was honoured by Ambassadors and senior representatives from more than 30 countries at a special reception on March 29 hosted by Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle at the Residence of Monaco in Washington, D.C.

The springtime reception to introduce Secretary Skorton to the diplomatic community and friends of Monaco featured more than 70 VIP guests from Washington’s government, business, media, artistic and cultural spheres. They included the U.S. Department of State’s Chief of Protocol Ambassador Peter Selfridge and his wife, Parita Shah, senior Smithsonian Institution officials including Mr. John McCarter (Chair, Board of Regents), Dr. Kirk Johnson (Director of the National Museum of Natural History), Dr. Julian Raby (Director of the Freer/Sackler Galleries of Art), and Ms. Molly Fannon (Director of International Relations).  

Senior diplomats attended from countries - many of which have a partnership with the Smithsonian - as diverse as France, Belarus, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Gabon, Grenada, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Korea, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Slovenia, and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Special guests included Mr. Arvind Manocha (CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts), Ms. Alicia Adams (VP, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Ms. Joan Wages (President and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum), and Maestro Philippe Auguin, the Music Director of the Washington National Opera and the Kennedy Center Orchestra in Washington D.C., who is also the Music Director of the.Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice.

 “Our mutual partnerships with our dear American friends is only strengthened by our shared dedication to democratic ideals. During my two years in Washington, I have found that the history, culture, art, and science of the Smithsonian Institution provide compelling windows into the essence of America. In 2009 His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco visited the Natural History Museum and signed an agreement for his Foundation to work with the Smithsonian on areas of conservation and sustainability. Given that ongoing working relationship, I am privileged to host our special guest of honour, the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian, Dr. David Skorton,” said Her Excellency Maguy Maccario Doyle.

“Dr. Skorton brings impeccable credentials to this esteemed institution, having presided over Cornell University and the University of Iowa. His tenures as a university president demonstrated his commitment to higher education and also to making connections around the world, as his projects in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, India, Israel, and elsewhere can attest. The Smithsonian has always been a remarkable international organization, which I know will flourish under his leadership.”

L-R: Mr. John McCarter, Chair of the Smithsonian Board of Regents; Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle; Dr. David Skorton    


L-R: Mr. Lorenzo Ravano, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Monaco; Mrs. Joan Wages, President of the National Museum of Women’s History; Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle; Dr. David Skorton;

* Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. The Smithsonian's collections represent the United States’ rich heritage, art from across the globe, and the immense diversity of the natural and cultural world. The scope of objects in Smithsonian collections is staggering—from ancient Chinese bronzes to the Star-Spangled Banner; from a 3.5 billion-year-old fossil to the Apollo lunar landing module; from the ruby slippers featured in The Wizard of Oz to presidential memorabilia. Scholars and scientific researchers at the Smithsonian, and around the world, use these vast collections in their research to expand human knowledge.

** David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution who took up his appointment of the 170-year-old establishment in mid-2015. A cardiologist and expert in adult congenital heart disease and cardiac imaging, Dr. Skorton was the 19th president of the University of Iowa and the 12th president of Cornell University.