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Kevin Young

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Kevin Young

Andrew W. Mellon Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian
Kevin Young

Kevin Young is the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. As the nation's largest museum dedicated to telling the African American story, NMAAHC welcomes millions of visitors annually and engages a national audience through world-class online programming and digital access to its collections, including the recent launch of the Searchable Museum. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Young previously served as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A professor for two decades, he began his career in museums and archives while serving as curator and Candler Professor at Emory University from 2005 to 2016. Young is the author of fifteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Stones, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize; Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, longlisted for the National Book Award; and Emile and The Field, named one of the best children’s books of 2022 by the New York Times. His nonfiction book Bunk was also longlisted for the National Book Award, a finalist for the National Book Critics Award for criticism, and named on many “best of” lists for 2017. Young is the editor of nine other volumes, most recently the acclaimed anthology African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Society of American Historians, and was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2020.