WASHINGTON – This week, the White House announced the appointment of Donna Hayashi Smith as the new Curator. Ms. Hayashi Smith, the ninth White House Curator, joined the Executive Residence Office of the Curator in 1995 and has served under five administrations. She began her career as the administrative and collections assistant, then became the White House collections manager and registrar. Most recently, she was the associate Curator of the collections and registrar, a position where she was responsible for caring for and tracking over 60,000 objects in the White House Collection. She also led the Office of the Curator through its American Alliance of Museums re-accreditation in 2022, ensuring that the White House continues to be recognized nationally as an accredited museum. Ms. Hayashi Smith has been serving as the acting White House Curator since the retirement of her predecessor, Lydia Tederick, after her decades of service.   

“Donna Hayashi Smith brings years of experience to this position, along with unique perspectives from serving under five administrations. She understands the history and legacy of the White House, as well as the intricate innerworkings of the building itself,” said First Lady Jill Biden. “I look forward to continuing our work together to preserve the White House’s living history, increasing opportunities for Americans to see themselves reflected here, and making the “People’s House” more accessible to the millions of people who visit our Nation’s Capital each year.”

Originally from Wahiawa, Hawaii, Ms. Hayashi Smith received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 1990, she moved to Washington, D.C. for a Smithsonian Institution minority fellowship at the National Museum of American History and was hired as a museum aide at the National Museum of American Art a year later. Shortly after arriving at the White House, Hayashi Smith earned a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies at the George Washington University while continuing her work in the Office of the Curator.  Ms. Hayashi Smith is the first Asian American to hold the title of Curator of the White House.


Stay Connected

Sign Up

We'll be in touch with the latest information on how President Biden and his administration are working for the American people, as well as ways you can get involved and help our country build back better.

Opt in to send and receive text messages from President Biden.

Scroll to Top Scroll to Top