We are pleased to announce that Sanchita Balachandran has been named director of the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute, effective April 8, 2024. Balachandran, a conservator of archaeological materials, was recently the director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum and associate teaching professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

With more than 20 years' experience, Balachandran is a well-respected leader in the field of conservation. She also taught courses related to the technical study and analysis of ancient objects, and the history, ethics and future of museum practice. Previously, she was the associate director (2017-2022) and curator/conservator (2010-2017) at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum.

Balachandran holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College, a master's degree in art history and an advanced certificate in art conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and completed her doctoral work in preservation studies from the University of Delaware.