March 15, 2022

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino has established a Scholarly Advisory Committee to guide the museum on important matters and provide input on the museum’s comprehensive plan to preserve, document, display/interpret and promote knowledge of U.S. Latino history, art and culture. The Smithsonian recently announced that Jorge Zamanillo, executive director and CEO of HistoryMiami, will be the director of the museum beginning May 2.

The 18 members of the Scholarly Advisory Committee include leaders from across various academic disciplines, such as architecture, anthropology, history and others. Together they will review exhibitions and long-distance learning and digital-engagement initiatives. An inaugural meeting will be held virtually in the spring to welcome Zamanillo and introduce the members of the council. Initial priorities include laying the groundwork for museum’s collections, research and publishing vision.

The members of the council are:

  • Leisy Ábrego, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Paola Aguirre, founder of Borderless
  • Floridalma Boj López, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Adrian Burgos, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Julio Capó Jr., Florida International University
  • Arlene Dávila, New York University
  • David García, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Matt García, Dartmouth College
  • Laura E. Gómez, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Robb Hernández, Fordham University
  • Ana-Maurine Lara, University of Oregon
  • Evelyne Laurent-Perrault, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Mark Hugo López, Pew Research Center
  • Lisandro Pérez, John Jay College, CUNY
  • Vicki L. Ruiz, University of California, Irvine
  • Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez, University of Texas, Austin
  • Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University
  • Charles Venator Santiago, University of Connecticut

About the National Museum of the American Latino

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino advances the representation, understanding and appreciation of Latino history and culture in the United States. The museum provides financial resources and collaborates with other museums to expand scholarly research, public programs, digital content, collections and more. The Molina Family Latino Gallery of the National Museum of the American Latino will be the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience. The legislation creating the National Museum of the American Latino at the Smithsonian passed Dec. 27, 2020. For more information, visit

# # #