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.