Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Donna Tuggle

Acting Assistant Director of Education, Outreach, and Visitor Experience

Donna Tuggle leads the Office of Education, Outreach, and Visitor Experience whose work helps to make the National Museum of Natural History one of the best museums in the world for learning science. Her team of education, public programs, and visitor experience professionals works closely with science experts and others from across the museum to create programs, products, and environments that help visitors and learners advance their understanding of and connection to natural history. 

Drawing on iterative-based processes, evaluation, and research, Donna’s team provides a range of diverse and accessible science experiences and programs for K-12 school students, teachers, youth, families, and adult learners. She oversees the live Insect Zoo, Butterfly Pavilion, Q?rius, the Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center, visitor information and accessibility services, and a volunteer corps of more than 1,000 people who work with the public and behind the scenes. Her responsibilities also include the production of digital learning resources and a distance-learning program that makes the museum’s collections, science, and experts accessible to learners far beyond the museum’s walls.

Prior to this position, Donna managed all aspects of the visitor experience for seven years as the Chief of Learning Venues and Visitor Experience, a role focused on meeting the diverse needs of more than 5 million visitors annually, ensuring they are open to learning on their own terms while at the museum.

Before joining the Smithsonian, Donna spent 10 years at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, where she was the Director of Education and Public Programs for five years leading all educational and programming aspects related to exhibitions and initiatives for Museum of the American West and Southwest Museum of the American Indian. Before that, she also managed the American Indian theater company “Native Voices at the Autry” and the Autry’s successful Indian Arts Marketplace and Pow Wow.  Donna also helped open The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco where she served for three years as the Director of Visitor Experience and Interpretation, creating a new education and visitor services department focusing on school experiences, public programs, and exceptional visitor experiences.