Friday, May 24, 2024

The White House has a new curator. Donna Hayashi Smith is the first Asian American to hold the post

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The White House has a new curator and Donna Hayashi Smith is the first Asian American to hold the post.

The White House announced her appointment Wednesday, the start of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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Originally from Wahiawa, Hawaii, Hayashi Smith joined the White House curator’s office in 1995 and has now served under five presidents. She had been serving in an acting capacity since last year after the retirement of her predecessor, Lydia Tederick.

The White House is photographed from Lafayette Park on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in Washington. The White House has a new curator and Donna Hayashi Smith is the first Asian American to hold the post. Hayashi Smith had been serving in an acting capacity since last year. She will oversee the care of thousands of artifacts in the White House collection, cataloging and preserving everything from presidential portraits to furniture to the china place settings.  (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

As curator, Hayashi Smith will oversee the care of thousands of artifacts in the White House collection, cataloguing and preserving everything from presidential portraits to furniture and more.

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Hayashi Smith led the curator’s office through a process in 2022 to ensure that the White House continues to be recognized nationally as an accredited museum.

First lady Jill Biden cited Hayashi Smith’s service under five presidential administrations and said she looked forward to working with her to preserve the White House’s “living history.”



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