Mary Elliott

Councilor, Profession

Mary Elliott is a museum specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). In her current position she was involved in the research, conceptualization and design of the Slavery and Freedom inaugural exhibition. She co-wrote the exhibition script, consulted with expert scholars, and identified and secured collection donations including the antebellum slave cabin and slave auction block featured in the museum. She continues to be involved in exhibition development and material culture research and interpretation.  She is also team member of the NMAAHC Center for the Study of Global Slavery.

A graduate of Howard University and the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, Mary helped produce local history exhibits in the Washington, DC, area and produced several public history programs. She served as a contractor and consultant to various organizations including the National Visionary Leadership Project, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History, and the Humanities Council of Washington, DC

She has over 20 years of experience in researching and presenting African American history and culture. Mary’s personal research focuses on antebellum slavery, Reconstruction, and African Americans in Indian Territory, with a specific concentration on migration and community development.