Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture Appoints Three New Council Members
N. Anthony Coles, M.D., chairman and CEO of Yumanity Therapeutics LLC; Brian C.
Cornell, chairman and CEO at Target Corp.; and Robert L. Wright, chairman emeritus of Sentel Corp.
have been named members of the advisory board (the council) for the National Museum of African
American History and Culture.
The museum’s council advises the museum and the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents on the
planning and design of the museum; fundraising; the acquisition and display of objects; and the
administration, operation and maintenance of the museum. The three new appointees will serve an
initial term effective immediately until the opening of the museum in 2016.
Coles was named the chairman and CEO of Yumanity Therapeutics LLC, a biopharmaceutical
company specializing in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in October 2014. Just prior, Coles
served as the chairman and CEO of TRATE Enterprises LLC, a privately held company. He served as
president, CEO and chairman of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., a cancer biotechnology company, from
2012 until 2013, having served as its president, CEO and board member from 2008 until 2012. He has
held various leadership positions in the biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries, including at
Merck & Co. Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Coles received a B.S. from Johns Hopkins University, a
master’s degree in public health from Harvard University and an M.D. from Duke University.
Cornell was appointed chairman and CEO of Target Corp. in July 2014. Cornell previously
served as the CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, president and CEO of Sam’s Club and as an executive
vice president of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He attended UCLA, where he earned his B.A. and attended the
Anderson Graduate School of Management. He is affiliated with various corporate organizations,
including Polaris and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
Wright is the chairman emeritus of Sentel Corp. and former chairman and CEO of Dimensions
International Inc. Wright was chairman of the Presidential Commission for the National Museum of
African American History and Culture, which led the effort that culminated in the 2003 Act of
Congress establishing it as part of the Smithsonian Institution. He is a former trustee and vice
chairman of the Morehouse School of Medicine and was a member of the Executive Leadership
cabinet for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. He is director emeritus
of Aflac. He has a degree in optometry from the College of Optometry at the Ohio State University.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of
Congress in 2003 making it the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Scheduled for completion
in 2016, the museum broke ground in February 2012 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It is
being built on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument. While construction is moving
forward, the museum is producing publications, hosting public programs and assembling collections.
It is presenting exhibitions at other museums across the country and at its own gallery at the
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. An array of interactive programs and
educational resources is available on the museum’s website nmaahc.si.edu.