Melissa Chiu is the director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the national museum of modern and contemporary art, in Washington, DC. She is a world-renowned expert on modern and contemporary art, with specialist knowledge on Asian art. Chiu has worked with some of the world’s best-known artists to curate or commission groundbreaking exhibitions of their art, including commissioning Yayoi Kusama’s first-ever major exhibition focused on her Infinity Mirrored Rooms, which toured from the Hirshhorn across the country (2017); Ai Weiwei’s exhibition of photographs taken when he lived in New York, which premiered at the same time that he was arrested in Beijing (2011); and an exhibition focused on Yoshitomo Nara’s work and its connection to music (2010). Recently, she has commissioned Mark Bradford, Nicolas Party and Laurie Anderson to stage large-scale projects at the Hirshhorn. Last year, she initiated the Hirshhorn Cultural Ambassadors program–of whom J Balvin is the first–which will work with Museum on its award-winning teen art program, ArtLab. She holds a PhD and has published essays, articles and books on cultural diplomacy and museum issues as well as international and Asian contemporary art.