February 17, 2022 – Diversified Search Group (DSG), a leading search firm backed by private equity firm ShoreView Industries, has assisted in the recruitment of Jorge Zamanillo as the inaugural director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Latino, a new museum established by Congress in December 2020. Leading the search were Victor Arias, managing partner of the firm’s Dallas office, and Jason León, managing partner of its Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Zamanillo most recently served as executive director and CEO of HistoryMiami Museum in Florida. “Jorge’s accomplishments at HistoryMiami Museum highlight his commitment to exploring the full sweep of the American story by bringing to life the complex and profound narratives of Latinos in the United States,” said Lonnie G. Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian. “His transformational leadership will be invaluable as we build this necessary museum from the ground up, helping us create a robust, dynamic, responsive museum that exemplifies what a 21st-century cultural institution should be.”
“The decision to choose a director who is already so deeply involved in lifting up American Latino history, and who also has a keen understanding of the fundraising that will be required, is a great one,” said Estuardo Rodriguez, president and CEO of Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino. “I have the utmost respect for Zamanillo’s work and congratulate him and the Smithsonian on the selection. Upwards of 25 million people visit the National Mall each year to learn about American history, and the Friends group looks forward to working with Mr. Zamanillo and the Smithsonian to ensure that our story, nuestra historia, is front and center.”
“It is an honor to be chosen to lead the development of this museum as the founding director,” said Mr. Zamanillo. “The Latino experience is American history, and I want to make sure our story will be preserved for future generations. This museum will celebrate Latino accomplishments and resiliency through powerful stories that capture the adversity faced over centuries by Latinos in the U.S. and their perseverance to move forward and create a legacy.”
At HistoryMiami Museum, Mr. Zamanillo managed the organization’s daily operations and led an expansion project that doubled the size of the museum and created four additional exhibition galleries. In 2011, he was project manager for the design and construction of the Miami Circle archaeological park in downtown Miami. Mr. Zamanillo has helped transform the museum into a treasured and vibrant community-based museum though exhibitions and programs that reflect the diverse communities of South Florida. Under his direction, the museum expanded the South Florida Folklife Center, dedicated to documenting, presenting and supporting the region’s traditional arts and culture, and added a dedicated permanent folklife gallery.
Before joining HistoryMiami Museum, Mr. Zamanillo was an archaeologist at the non-profit cultural resource management firm Archaeological and Historical Conservancy Inc. in Miami. He currently serves as treasurer and a board member of the American Alliance of Museums. He is also president of the Florida Association of Museums and is a founding partner of Made By Us, an organization of museums and non-profits whose goal is to appeal to younger generations who will write history from their own perspectives.
Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 19 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers and libraries. Two new museums—the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum—are in development. There are more than 6,300 Smithsonian employees and 6,900 volunteers.
Diversified Search Group is a family of recruiting firms serving specialized sectors. The firm was founded almost five decades ago by Judith M. von Seldeneck for the express purpose of placing diverse candidates in client organizations. It is today the largest U.S. female-owned and founded firm in the executive recruitment industry.
Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners has been retained by the Museum of Science in Boston to lead its search for a chief people officer. Spearheading the assignment are managing director Beth Schaefer and senior search associate Josyanne Roche. “At this critical time in its history, the Museum of Science is seeking a dynamic, mission-driven leader to serve as the next chief people officer,” said Koya Partners. “The CPO comes to the Museum of Science at an exciting time under new leadership and a renewed commitment to the great opportunity for impact that institutions like the Museum of Science can have in their community and in the world.”
Mr. Arias is a managing director and practice leader, consumer and retail at Diversified Search Group, working primarily in the firm’s board of directors practice. He is also the leader of the firm’s Dallas-Fort Worth office. Mr. Arias joined in 2019 from RSR Partners, where he had been a managing director in the board of directors practice.
Mr. León is managing director in Diversified Search Group’s Washington, D.C., office, and specializes in non-profit, board, and CFO practices. His clients include the March of Dimes, Covenant House of Greater Washington, Martha’s Table, and International Justice Mission. Mr. León has placed directors on the boards of Fortune 1000 companies ranging from financial services, to manufacturing, to asset management leaders.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media