Dr. Margaret Salazar-Porzio


DR. MARGARET SALAZAR-PORZIO is a leader in public history and cultural preservation, renowned for her dedication to fostering community engagement in the arts and humanities. Growing up in East Los Angeles, California, with Mexican and Japanese heritage, she cultivated a deep appreciation for the power of narratives in bridging understanding across diverse communities.

As the curator of Latinx History and Culture at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Dr. Salazar-Porzio made significant contributions, leveraging her diverse background to infuse exhibitions with a nuanced understanding of cultural history. She co-curated the impactful exhibition Many Voices, One Nation and produced the exhibition book, Many Voices, One Nation: Material Culture Reflections on Race and

Migration in the United States. She also spearheaded the bilingual exhibition, book, and multi-modal Learning Lab, ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas, currently on a national tour through 2025. Salazar-Porzio’s most recent projects include the award-winning “Collective Care in Puerto Rico” in collaboration with the Hurricane Maria Archive and the University of Puerto Rico documenting the overlapping crises that have affected Puerto Ricans, and a highly acclaimed project about “Chicanas Changing History” with the University of Michigan, chronicling the lives and careers of Chicanas in academia over 50 years to highlight their important contributions to the field of History.

As Chair of the Division of Home and Community Life, Dr. Salazar-Porzio oversaw Smithsonian staff and contractors, leading operations, strategic planning, and performance evaluation. She serves as a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, where she shares her insights and expertise with audiences nationwide, enriching scholarly discourse and public understanding of history.

Before her tenure at the Smithsonian, Dr. Salazar-Porzio served as an Associate Research Scholar at Columbia University Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, where she led strategic planning workshops and conducted mixed methods research. She received a B.A. in Liberal Studies and Teaching Credentials from California State University Los Angeles (2005), as well as an M.A. (2008) and Ph.D. (2010) in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California.