Dr. Kirk Johnson

Sant Director, National Museum of Natural History

Dr. Kirk Johnson is the Sant Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He oversees more than 460 employees and a collection of more than 128 million objects—the largest natural history collection in the world. The Museum hosts more than 7 million visitors annually and, last year, its scientists published over 730 scientific research papers and described 517 new species.

Johnson is a paleontologist who has led expeditions in 11 countries and 19 states that resulted in the discovery of more than 1,400 fossil sites. His research focuses on fossil plants and the extinction of the dinosaurs. He is known for his scientific books and articles, popular books, museum exhibits, presentations, and collaborations with artists.