Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Allison Willcox

Deputy Director

Allison Webb Willcox is the Deputy Director at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History with responsibilities spanning collections, research, exhibitions, education and operations. 

Prior to joining the museum’s staff, she served as the Smithsonian’s Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Administration and as the Associate Director for Operations at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). In 2014, Allison joined NMAAHC as its first Assistant Director for Information Technology, establishing the department as the museum prepared for its public opening and overseeing the full range of IT and digital services including the museum’s web presence, interactive technologies, and IT infrastructure and operations.  

She began her career as the Anatomical Collections Manager at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, and subsequently worked as a biological anthropologist in the NMNH Office of Repatriation laboratory. From 1999 – 2014, Allison served in varied IT roles at the US Department of Agriculture, eventually establishing and leading the IT program and project management office for the Food and Nutrition Service. 

Allison holds a BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Haverford College and has conducted anthropological fieldwork and research in Egypt, Italy, England and the US.  She also holds professional certifications in project management and business process improvement. She is a Fellow of the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) and a 2017 recipient of the Federal 100 Award for transformative IT leadership.