03/10/2014 3:24PM

Skorton hired to head Smithsonian Institution

Cornell University
David Skorton will begin duties as head of the Smithsonian Institution in June 2015.

David Skorton, chairman of the New York Racing Association’s Reorganization Board, has been hired to head the Smithsonian Institution beginning in summer 2015, the Smithsonian and Skorton’s current employer, Cornell University in New York, announced Monday.

Skorton, 64, will continue in his role as president of Cornell until he begins at the Smithsonian in June 2015, Cornell said. The Smithsonian, a taxpayer-funded institution that also conducts private fund-raising drives, manages the eponymous and highly popular museums lining the Mall in Washington, D.C., as well as other museums, zoos, learning facilities, and affiliates around the world. Its website claims that it is the “world’s largest museum and research complex.”

Skorton was appointed to a three-year term as chairman of NYRA’s board in October 2012 by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Skorton received the appointment following the passage of legislation allowing the state to take over control of NYRA’s board.

In a statement released shortly after the Smithsonian announcement, NYRA said: “We believe that [Skorton] will continue to lead the board with distinction.”