Agency history, 1976-

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  • Murphy, Lynne C
  • Cipalla Rita C
  • Graboske, Patricia J
  • Fetters, J. Michael
  • Brown, Claire H
  • Sklar, Marc
  • National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Office of Public Affairs


Agency History


  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives, 1996
  • Smithsonian Directory, 1994-2002
  • National Air and Space Museum website, 2004-2022
  • LinkedIn, J. Michael Fetters,, accessed November 4, 2022
  • LinkedIn, Marc Sklar,, accessed November 4, 2022
  • The first Public Information Officer of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was Lynne C. Murphy, who reported to the Director and served 1976-1978. Prior to Murphy's appointment, the Director's Office handled all materials related to this office. In 1978, Rita C. Bobowski (later Cipalla) replaced Murphy as Public Information Officer. Her title changed in 1980 to Chief, Public Affairs and Museum Services. In 1987, the title was shortened to Chief, Public Affairs, and Cipalla continued to serve until around 1991. The Office briefly changed its name to the Office of Communications in the late 1980s and by 1994 the office was once again known as the Office of Public Affairs. In 2005, the Office of Public Affairs reverted back to the Office of Communications. Patricia J. Graboske was Acting Chairperson in 1991 and was succeeded by J. Michael Fetters, 1992-1999. Following Fetters, Claire H. Brown, was appointed Chief, Public Affairs. In May 2018 Marc Sklar began his tenure as Director of Communications.
  • The primary function of the Office of Public Affairs is the handling of all NASM events, including openings, lectures, presentations, luncheons, and ceremonies.
  • For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of above."

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1976
  • 1976-


  • Public relations
  • Museums
  • Press coverage
  • Museums--Public relations
  • Museums--Press coverage


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00135

Full Record

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