Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the organization’s operating budget. It is $1.3 billion, not $1.3 million. This version has been corrected.
Senior Smithsonian executive Albert G. Horvath will serve as acting secretary of the Smithsonian from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2015, officials announced Thursday.
Smithsonian Chancellor John G. Roberts Jr., chief justice of the United States, appointed Horvath to lead the institution for the six months between retiring Secretary Wayne Clough’s departure at the end of the year and the arrival of incoming Secretary David Skorton on July 1, 2015.
Horvath has been the Smithsonian’s undersecretary for finance and administration since 2011. As chief financial officer, he has been responsible for key operations, including facilities and maintenance, human resources, security and information technology. Horvath also oversaw the Smithsonian’s $1.3 billion operation budget and $200 million capital budget.
“Al is a proven leader and the right person to guide the Smithsonian through this time of transition,” John McCarter, chairman of the Board of Regents, said in a statement. “We know he will continue to move forward the many initiatives now underway.”
Before joining the Smithsonian, Horvath worked for 22 years in various administrative roles at five universities, including Penn State, his alma mater, where he rose to senior vice president for finance and business treasurer. He also worked at Columbia University, the California Institute of Technology, and New York and Carnegie Mellon universities. He began his career at Mellon Bank.
In his six-month role as acting secretary, Horvath will be responsible for the institution’s 6,400 employees, multiple renovations and projects, and the construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
John Lapiana, who currently serves as Horvath’s deputy, will be acting undersecretary for finance and administration and chief financial officer.
In a statement, Horvath said Skorton will be consulted about all “major decisions.”
“I am deeply honored by this opportunity,” Horvath said. “My hope is to keep the positive momentum going. Wayne has been a great leader for the Smithsonian, and we’ve partnered on most of the major initiatives currently underway.”