Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Carol R. Butler

Assistant Director for Collections

Carol R. Butler is part of the Science leadership team, with responsibility for the museum’s collections and collections-related central services. She oversees the biorepository and conservation, digitization, and registration functions as well as the roving team of collections program technicians. Carol leads the development of collections policies, plans and funding requests, as well as the museum’s Collections Committee, Genetic Resources Oversight Committee, and the Digitization Committee (co-chair). She serves on the Smithsonian’s Collections Advisory Committee and the Collections Space Advisory Committee. She is active in the Global Genome Initiative as a steering committee member and the related Global Genome Biorepository Network as a member of its executive group. Carol has led numerous workshops and training programs, reaching museum students and professionals from the U.S., Latin and South America, Europe, India, Pakistan, and Oman. 

Carol began her career at the National Museum of Natural History in 1988, working in the Department of Anthropology as a collections inventory technician. In addition to subsequent collections management positions, she served as the Museum’s Labor and Employee Relations contact for four years. Carol earned her Bachelor’s degree from Guildford College, and her Masters’ degree in Anthropology from Wake Forest University where she served a four year apprenticeship in the university’s museum. Carol completed the Smithsonian Leadership Development Program in 2011. She conducted field work at Ain Ghazal, Jordon, excavating and analyzing the skeletal remains from that Neolithic archaeological site.