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Smithsonian Institution

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Agency overview


To foster the increase and diffusion of knowledge by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge and sharing our resources with the world.

Current priorities

  • Focus on Four Grand Challenges: Unlocking the mysteries of the universe, understanding and sustaining a biodiverse planet, valuing world cultures, and understanding the American experience
  • Digitizing collections and exploring next-generation technologies to broaden access
  • Revitalized education by serving as a laboratory to create models and methods of innovative informal education
  • Improve organizational services and measure performance


The Smithsonian is divided into a multitude of administrative, research, and facility offices—plus it is the home of 19 museums and 9 research centers.

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Best Places to Work in the Federal Government

The Best Places to Work rankings measure employee satisfaction and commitment and draws on responses from nearly 421,000 federal employees across 379 federal agencies and subcomponents. In the 2016 edition, the Smithsonian Institution ranked 7th out of 27 midsize agencies.Learn more