The board of trustees of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino has elected Henry R. Muñoz III, entrepreneur, philanthropist, designer and social movement leader, as its board chair. In this role, Muñoz will advise and support the museum director and provide leadership and strategic direction for the museum’s board. The board of trustees as a whole advises and assists the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents on matters related to the development of the museum.
Muñoz joined the Latino Museum’s board in June. He is chairman emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Latino Board, a member of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s board of trustees and an alumni member of the Smithsonian National Board. Muñoz served as the chairman of the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino from 2009 to 2011.
He is the founder of Muñoz & Co., a San Antonio-based architecture and design firm with numerous major public works in their portfolio, and he is the co-founder and vice chairman of SOMOS, a health-care nonprofit serving over 1 million residents in lower-income communities of color. Muñoz served as the Democratic National Committee’s national finance chair at the request of President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2019.
The advisory board also elected two vice chairs: Margarita Paláu-Hernández will serve as vice chair of nominating and membership to identify and recommend candidates for the museum’s board of trustees. Dr. J. Mario Molina will serve as vice chair of advancement and outreach to further fundraising initiatives and engage new members, donors and supporters.
Paláu-Hernández is founder and CEO of Hernández Ventures, a privately held enterprise involved in Spanish media, business and real estate ventures. She is chair of the Smithsonian’s National Latino Board and serves on the boards of Occidental Petroleum, Xerox Holdings Corp., Conduent Inc. and Apartment Income REIT Corp.
Molina, a health-care entrepreneur, endocrinologist and philanthropist, is the former chairman and CEO of Molina Healthcare, a Fortune 200 company he founded with his family in the 1980s. Currently, he is chairman of the board at United States of Care and an adjunct professor in the School of Global and Community Health at Claremont Graduate University.
About the National Museum of the American Latino
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino advances the representation, understanding and appreciation of Latino history and culture in the United States. The museum provides financial resources and collaborates with other museums to expand scholarly research, public programs, digital content, collections and more. The Molina Family Latino Gallery of the National Museum of the American Latino will be the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience. The legislation creating the National Museum of the American Latino at the Smithsonian passed Dec. 27, 2020. For more information, visit latino.si.edu.