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NMAI profile; TANYA THRASHER

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Communications coordinator Tanya Thrasher served as an assistant to the
museum director before accepting a place on the museum's 12-member
transition team, created by senior management to meet the many challenges
that arose as construction started on the new building. The task force has
turned into something of a "catch-all" assignment, for it functions as a
specialty team for specialty projects. It has proved crucial to the
relatively smooth operation of the museum in the trying two years prior to
the Sept. 21 opening.

In Thrasher's case, she has kept the communication lines open between
architects and engineers and the museum departments. She and Duane Blue
Spruce would attend the technical meetings. Blue Spruce, an architect,
would brief her on the arcane details under discussion, and she would put
the word out through white paper reports for managers and an internal
newsletter for all staff. She also took part in the making of a documentary
on the museum's construction, "just to capture the milestones on film."

In the meantime she has led many "hard hat tours" of the building, made
many presentations around Washington, and conducted many congressional
members and their staff around the grounds.

Thrasher, a Cherokee, thanks her background in writing that she has gotten
to see up-close "the passion for this building" so many have expressed.