The Smithsonian has recruited a familiar face to fill in as director of the National Museum of American History. Marc Pachter, a former director of the National Portrait Gallery, was appointed Wednesday as the acting director of the museum.

Pachter has deep ties to the Smithsonian. He worked at the Portrait Gallery for 33 years, starting as chief historian in 1974 and serving as director from 2000-2007. He was chairman of the Smithsonian’s elaborate 150th anniversary in 1996. Pachter, a historian, has even had his new job before, serving as acting director of American History from November 2001 until December 2002.

The current director, Brent D. Glass, announced his retirement last month.

Richard Kurin, the undersecretary for History, Art and Culture, made the announcement. “We are happy to welcome Marc back home to the Smithsonian. Marc was always an asset to the Institution as a museum director, scholar, author and interviewer,” Kurin said.

The appointment takes effect August 15.