Smithsonian Director Joins NRHF Team
Dr. Brent Glass, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, has joined the NRHF team of advisors. Chair Jay Matson said Glass will provide counsel on all aspects of Engines of Freedom, which is currently in the master plan phase.
“Brent brings a breadth of experience in museum operations, as well as a depth of understanding of the role of freight rail in our nation’s industrial development. We’re delighted to have him on board!,” Matson said.
Glass served the Smithsonian Institution as director of the National Museum of American History Behring Center for nine years prior to his retirement in December, 2011. He oversaw the most extensive renovation of the Smithsonian’s American History Museum in its history, the conservation of the Star-Spangled Banner, and the installation of major new exhibitions on transportation, maritime history, military history, and first ladies’ gowns.
From 1987 to 2002, Glass served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the largest public history program in the nation. There he oversaw major expansion and renovation projects at several of the Commission’s 25 historic sites and museums around the state and led an effort to conserve the Pennsylvania Charter and other important documents and artifacts.
Dr. Glass became interested in oral history as a graduate student in North Carolina, and from 1983 to 1987, he served as executive director of the North Carolina Humanities Council. His research interests include architectural and urban history; the history of industry and technology; and the history of memorials, museums, and historic sites.
A leading public historian, Dr. Glass is a member of the US Flight 93 Memorial Advisory Commission, the State Department’s U.S. - Russia Bilateral Commission Working Group on Culture and Education, and a trustee of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.He has served on the U.S. National Historical Publications and Records Commission and on the council of the American Association for State and Local History.
Glass holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and History from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, a Masters of Arts in American Civilization from New York University, and a
Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.