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Samantha O’Neal

Samantha L. O’Neal was hired as a planned gift administration specialist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She was previously a planned giving and bequest administration specialist at the National Geographic Society.


Career Trajectory: O’Neal has always had an interest in the legal side of museums, cultural heritage, and repatriation. As a trusts and estates attorney, she sometimes worked with universities or large nonprofits, which exposed her to the idea of estate administration from the nonprofit or institution side. Common Purpose: After a time at the National Geographic Society, she is now pursuing her interests at the Smithsonian Institution, where she enjoys mission-driven work and the esprit de corps that results from working with like-minded collaborators. New Opportunities: She is engaged with a large and complicated volume of gifts because the Smithsonian accepts tangible personal property, meaning O’Neal gets to help colleagues determine where, in the Smithsonian’s network, the gifts should go.