The Office of International Relations and Global Programs

“The worth and importance of the Institution is not to be estimated by what it accumulates within the walls of its building, but by what it sends forth to the world.”

- Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian (1850)

 

Our Mission

We leverage the creativity, assets, and expertise of the entire Smithsonian to promote meaningful change in the world and advance our mission: the increase and diffusion of knowledge

Download our 2016 Annual Report to learn more.

Our Team

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Molly Fannon

Molly Fannon is Director of the Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations and Global Programs. As the Institution’s lead representative for all international programs, her portfolio spans the entire Institution, from biodiversity conservation, to climate change research, to cultural heritage preservation and recovery, to cultural tourism and education. Ms. Fannon leads the Smithsonian’s museum advisory and training programs. Ms. Fannon regularly speaks on behalf of the Smithsonian, with recent keynote addresses and major speeches to organizations such as the World Customs Organization, UNESCO, USAID, and more.

Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Fannon led global engagement programs at the Smithsonian focused on building the capacity of emerging cultural sectors in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Ms. Fannon came to the Smithsonian with a background in the private sector, working on large-scale international economic development programs, funded by institutions such as USAID, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Bank, and the MCC. For Booz Allen Hamilton, she led global business development, helping the global consulting company break into new areas of work and new client bases in developing economies. For Chemonics International, Ms. Fannon led business and program development for the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Ms. Fannon’s academic work focused on the role of the cultural sector in economic development and nation building. In that vein, she served as a strategic advisor in Mozambique regarding cultural tourism development at Ilha de Mozambique, a UNESCO world heritage site. As a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina, Ms. Fannon worked with the municipal government to define cultural tourism and historic preservation strategies for Buenos Aires’ historic public cemeteries.

Ms. Fannon’s professional experience spans more than 30 countries on 6 continents. She is fluent in both spoken and written Spanish and proficient in Portuguese. Most importantly, she is the mother of three young and happy daughters.

Aviva Rosenthal. Photo credit: Maria Sanchez.

Aviva Rosenthal

Aviva Rosenthal is a Senior Advisor in the Smithsonian's Office of International Relations and Global Programs. She has more than 20 years of diverse experience in government, business and the non-profit sector. Aviva manages a vast portfolio of strategic partnerships between the Smithsonian Institution and international governments, foundations, NGOs, and other organizations, as well as ongoing collaborations between the Smithsonian and various U.S. federal agencies with a focus on the U.S. Department of State. Aviva has traveled to over 40 countries for work and has a focus on public diplomacy and people-to-people connections in her career. She doesn’t come home without a snow globe from each country visited for her daughter’s massive collection.

Learn more about Aviva Rosenthal

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Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is a Program Coordinator in the Office of International Relations and Global Programs at the Smithsonian Institution. She has worked extensively on the Smithsonian partnership with U.S. Department of State on the American Spaces Assessment and Redesign Project to enhance public diplomacy venues worldwide. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Lauren worked at cultural institutions in the DC area including National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Society of the Cincinnati, and International Arts and Artists’ Hillyer Art Space. Her work has been focused on the care, preservation, and accessibility of museum collections for a wide range of audiences. Lauren received her BA from Emory University and her MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University. Lauren’s best travel tip: always check, and then re-check, your departure airport before leaving home. You’ll save yourself time and stress if you head the right airport the first time around (and yes, she speaks from experience).

Learn more about Lauren Appelbaum

Agnes Bielawska

Agnes Bielawska

Agnes Bielawska is the Management Support Specialist for the Office of International Relations and Global Programs at the Smithsonian Institution. A Chicago native, Agnes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She has developed her expertise in acquisitions and contracting through numerous training certifications and her time in the private sector. Agnes is responsible for purchase orders, managing budgets, tracking program funds, coordinating travel, and assisting international visa applicants. Agnes credits her time studying abroad in Italy at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center for sparking her interest in International Relations. When not at work, Agnes enjoys an active lifestyle of traveling, boating, attending cultural events, and enjoying a good read.

Liz Tunick Cedar. Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution.

Liz Tunick Cedar

Liz Tunick Cedar is a Senior Project Manager in the Office of International Relations and Global Programs at the Smithsonian Institution, where she is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of global projects in art and culture. She works with national governments and foreign museums on preserving, developing, and designing cultural institutions, training museum professionals, and enhancing public engagement. She also contributes to the Institution’s efforts to preserve and protect cultural assets in crisis. She has worked previously at several major U.S. museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Clark Art Institute, and the National Gallery of Art, where she was also a Kress Fellow. Ms. Tunick received her BA from Dartmouth College and her MA in Art History from Williams College. She is fluent in French.    

Learn more about Liz Tunick Cedar

Sara de la Torre Beron

Sara De La Torre Berón

Sara De La Torre Berón is an International Project Coordinator in the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of International Relations and Global Programs. In this role, she supports many of the Institution’s ongoing international projects, focusing particularly on the cultural sector. She also provides support for the Institution’s international visitor exchange program. Previously, Sara worked in international higher education, with a particular focus on non-traditional, experiential learning. Sara did her Master’s field work on intangible cultural heritage in the French and Spanish Pyrenees, following undergraduate study in languages and anthropology. Sara grew up in Colombia and speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese. One of her favorite parts of travel is trying new foods – and she’ll try anything once, no matter how exotic!

Matthew Lutkenhouse

Matthew Lutkenhouse

Matthew Lutkenhouse is an Advisor in the Office of International Relations and Global Programs. He comes to the Smithsonian with nearly 20 years of experience working in conservation and international development with a particular focus on marine conservation in tropical ecosystems. Responsible for overseeing the development and execution of global projects in science and conservation, he works closely with the Smithsonian’s science units and many distinguished scientists on strategy and implementation of their priority programs and applied research around the world. Matt received his BA in Economics from Stanford University and his MA in International Development from American University. He has lived and worked in Latin America, Africa and Asia and speaks Spanish and Portuguese as well as some French, Indonesian, and German.

David Mees, Department of State and the Smithsonian Institution Liason

David Mees

David Mees is the liaison between the Department of State and the Smithsonian Institution. He facilitates collaboration between the two, helps inform U.S. Embassy personnel about the Smithsonian’s projects and resources, and explores opportunities for new joint ventures. David is a foreign service officer who started his career in the former Yugoslavia, where he did stints in Belgrade and Sarajevo. His specialty is public diplomacy, through which he promotes dialogue between Americans and educated audiences abroad. He also worked in Tanzania, Pakistan, Iceland, Jordan, Italy, and most recently India, where he was Counselor for Cultural Affairs. He was born in The Netherlands, and in Boston attended the alma mater of his mother, uncle, and grandfather: the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He earned a Master’s from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. For fun, he takes photographs, collects carpets, and tries to play the piano.

Marie Morse

Marie Morse

Marie Morse is a Project Manager with the Office of International Relations and Global Programs at the Smithsonian Institution. She currently supports implementation of a variety of global projects which focus on enhancing awareness of cultural heritage as well as cultural heritage preservation. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Marie managed USAID funded projects in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya. She was responsible for a range of project management tasks such as field office registration and operations, oversight of activity development and implementation, financial and regulatory compliance, as well as ensuring policies were in line with host country labor practices and USAID regulations. She spent a great deal of time traveling to the Middle East region in order to support project implementation and to better understand the cultural context within each country. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines where she focused on youth development and education initiatives from 2007-2009. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from American University where she focused in International Management, specifically in countries facing conflict and crisis. While she loves to travel, Marie has rarely experienced a flight without significant delays or lost luggage.

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Meri Price

Meri Price is an International Exchange Specialist with the Office of International Relations and Global Programs. She works with incoming international visitors and groups, serving as a point of contact for foreign embassies and international organizations, as well the U.S. Department of State for official visits to the Smithsonian. Meri assists visitors coming to conduct research or participate in internships/fellowships, trainings, collaborations or museum visits, providing immigration and cultural advising. She enjoys endless opportunities to learn about the Smithsonian through the eyes of the international visitors she helps bring to the institution. Meri has an MA in International Education Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also has experience living, working and studying abroad in both Latin America and Europe.

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Isabella Roden

Isabella Roden is a Digital Communications Specialist for the Smithsonian's Office of International Relations and Global Programs. As a content writer, editor, and social media manager for the Smithsonian Global website, she enjoys getting to talk with and learn from Smithsonian staff around the world. Isabella graduated with a BA in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. She then received Harvard’s Finley Fellowship to travel solo around the world for a year writing about wildlife conservation. Some of her favorite experiences abroad include tracking rhinos on foot in Zimbabwe and washing injured elephants in Thailand.

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Michelle Rodríguez

Michelle Rodríguez is an International Program Management Specialist with the Office of International Relations and Global Programs. She brings 15 years of experience working in international project management and proposal development for some of USAID’s main implementing partners in positions based both in Washington, DC and overseas. She has managed large scale multi-year USAID funded projects from start to finish, holding responsibility for setting up a new office and registering in-country, hiring and managing local staff in compliance with local labor laws, opening bank accounts and establishing initial cash flow, and setting up and implementing the operational systems necessary to ensure sound program management, accurate budget monitoring, and quality technical reporting. She has also managed projects funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the World Bank, the Interamerican Development Bank, and direct governments overseas. Her experience spans multiple countries across Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia. During her travels to more than 35 countries, one of Michelle's most memorable experiences was spending New Year’s Eve stuck in a tunnel full of traffic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Jenny Schulz

Jenny Schulz

Jenny Schulz is a Project Coordinator with the Office of International Relations and Global Programs at the Smithsonian Institution, where she provides administrative and programmatic support to a variety of international programs. She comes to the Smithsonian with over three years of project management experience working on USAID-funded public health initiatives around the world. Her expertise includes field office support, contract review, and proposal development. She received her MA in Latin American Studies & International Development from Georgetown University and her BA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from McGill University. Jenny is fluent in Spanish and “hockey French” and enjoys cheering on her favorite team, the Montreal Canadiens.

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Rebecca Wall

Rebecca Wall is a Communications and Research Specialist for the Office of International Relations and Global Programs. Rebecca directs OIR communications, manages international research programs, and coordinates various international programs related to cultural heritage and emerging museum and cultural sectors. She completed her PhD and MA in History at the University of Michigan. A cultural historian of memory, identity, and food history, Rebecca has lived and worked in Europe and the Middle East and speaks French, Hebrew, and some Arabic. One of her most unforgettable travel experiences was being rerouted to a Jordanian border crossing through a field of date palms and land mines because of an Ironman triathlon.

Stephanie Wezowicz

Stephanie Wezowicz

Stephanie Wezowicz is the Administrative Management Specialist with the Office of International Relations and Global Programs. She manages the general office budget and a vast portfolio of sponsored project funds of around $5M and growing. Stephanie has worked at the Smithsonian Institution for 8 years starting with the Office of Sponsored Projects as their Administrative Officer, and then as the Administrator for the Barcode of Life project at the National Museum of Natural History. Stephanie graduated Trinity College in 2003 with a BA in Studio Arts, and then Syracuse University in 2006 with a MA in Museum Studies. She lives in Arlington, VA and is an avid runner; completing 3 full marathons and countless other races over the years.