isha ambani

Board member of Reliance Jio Infocomm, Reliance Retail and Reliance Foundation, Isha Ambani has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the prestigious Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution, arguably the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, based in the US.

The museum collection of Asian art includes more than 45,000 objects, dating from the Neolithic period to the present, originating from the ancient Near East to China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia and the Islamic world. Opened as the Freer Gallery of Art in 1923, the museum will celebrate its centennial in 2023.

Apart from Ambani, Carolyn Brehm, founder and CEO of the consulting firm Brehm Global Ventures LLC and lecturer, and Peter Kimmelman, who established Peter Kimmelman Asset Management LLC in 1979 and is the trustee and member of the executive committee of World Monuments Fund and the American Federation of Aging Research, also joined the board.

According to a press release, the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents approved their appointment for four-year terms each, effective September 23, 2021. The 17-member Board of Regents, comprising the Chief Justice of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, three members of the United States Senate, three members of the United States House of Representatives, and nine citizens, “is responsible for the administration of the Smithsonian”.

In addition to these new appointments, Antoine van Agtmael’s tenure as chair of the museum’s board of trustees was extended through October 2023. Dr Vijay Anand was named Vice Chair of the board and Ambassador Pamela H Smith was appointed secretary of the board. “On behalf of my colleagues at the museum and across the Smithsonian, I am delighted to welcome these distinguished new members to our board and to congratulate our officers on their election,” said Chase F Robinson, the museum’s Dame Jillian Sackler Director, in a press release.

“All art museums face the challenge of responding to a quickly evolving cultural landscape, such as new expectations on the part of the public and increasing financial pressures. For a museum devoted to the arts and cultures of Asia, particularly in what is often regarded as the Asian century, there are special opportunities and responsibilities. As we mark our centennial in 2023, the vision and passion of these talented new members and officers will accelerate our efforts to make our collections and expertise more accessible and compelling, to expand our collection, and to join others in understanding and celebrating Asian arts and cultures. Our board is larger and more diverse than it’s ever been. I look forward to working with trustees and extend my gratitude for their service.”

In 2019, Nita Ambani, wife of Reliance Industries’ Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, was elected to the board of New York’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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