Govan, Michael (1963- )

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


  • Number of Terms: 1
  • Occupation: Museum director
  • Committees: Compensation and Human Resources; Facilities; Strategy, Innovation, and Technology.
  • Biography: Michael Govan joined the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as Chief Executive Officer and Wallis Annenberg Director in 2006. In this role, he oversees all activities of the museum, from art programming to the expansion and upgrade of the museum's twenty-acre campus. During his tenure, LACMA has acquired by donation or purchase more than 27,000 works for the permanent collection, gallery space and programs have almost doubled, and annual attendance has grown from 600,000 to nearly 1.6 million in 2016. Currently the museum in the process of building a new, state of the art gallery building designed by architect Peter Zumthor.
  • Born in Massachusetts in 1963, Govan grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, attending Sidwell Friends School. He received the B.A. in art history and fine arts from Williams College in 1985, and then began an MFA in Fine Arts at University of California at San Diego. He served as acting curator of the Williams College Museum of Art while an undergraduate. He left graduate school to serve as deputy director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum under his former professor Thomas Krens from 1988 to 1994. Govan supervised the reinstallation of the permanent collection galleries after an extensive renovation of the Guggenheim. During his tenure, the Guggenheim also opened its Bilbao, Spain, museum designed by architect. Frank Gehry. From 1994 to 2006, Govan was president and director of Dia Art Foundation in New York City, overseeing the conversion of a Nabisco box factory into the Dia: Beacon in New York's Hudson Valley, which houses Dia's collection of art from the 1960s to the present.


  • Govan, Michael
  • Citizen Regent
  • Board of Regents Committee on Compensation and Human Resources
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Board of Regents


Smithsonian Board of Regents

Regent images can be seen at

Images of the Regent can be found at the following repositories: Los Angeles Times

Regent type




Short Legal Citation

Public Law: SJRes 35


Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Regent Tenure: 05/06/2017-Present


  • Art
  • Historians
  • Museums
  • Art historians
  • Museum directors





Full Record

View Full Record