Smithsonian Picks New Leader
Museum returns to academia roots, selects Ga. Tech president
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2008 2:25 PM CDT
G. Wayne Clough speaks during a news conference at the the original Smithsonian Institution Building in Washington, Saturday, March 15, 2008.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – The Smithsonian Institute today handed its top job to Georgia Tech President G. Wayne Clough, marking a return to the museum’s academic roots, the AP reports. Clough follows the troubled tenure of businessman Lawrence Small, who came under fire for raising executive salaries and for focusing more on money than on science. He once billed the institute $1.1 million for hosting official functions in his home.

“I think what we need to do is repair some bridges," Clough told the New York Times. “This is a treasure of our country, and it needs to move forward." He will make $490,000, about half of Small's salary. Before Small, all 10 secretaries came from academia, a tradition resumed in Clough, who is widely credited with turning Georgia Tech into one of the nation’s top public universities.