The National Air and Space Museum is under the direction of the Under Secretary for Science, one of three Under Secretaries who report to the Secretary of the Institution. When it created the Smithsonian Institution in 1846, Congress vested responsibility for its administration in a Board of Regents.
The National Air and Space Museum is led by a Museum Director, assisted by three Associate Directors. The Department of Management and Public Programs includes Finance and Administrative Management; Information Technology; Education; Visitor Services; Human Resources; Health and Safety; Exhibits Production; and Exhibits Design and Technologies. The Department of Collections and Curatorial Affairs consists of the research divisions of Aeronautics, Space History, and Earth and Planetary Studies, as well as Archives, Collections, Publications, Research Fellowships, and Web and New Media. The External Affairs Department is responsible for the offices of Advancement, Special Events, and Communications. Business activities, security, facilities management, and other central operations are managed through the Smithsonian Institution.