Meet Amy Kotkin, Journeys Director
Amy Kotkin is Director of Smithsonian Journeys, the educational tour program of the Smithsonian Institution. She joined the Smithsonian in 1974 and over the past 35 years has developed a wide range of educational benefits for Smithsonian members nationwide. Amy became director of Smithsonian Journeys in 1994. Currently, she oversees Smithsonian Journeys’ 250+ annual tours throughout the U.S. and around the world. She has traveled with Smithsonian members in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Amy received her B.A. in American Civilization from Case Western Reserve University, and her M.A. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.
Fun Facts About Amy Kotkin
What’s the best part of your job? Learning about new destinations from our staff, tour operators, and the travel press. It is truly exciting to discover newly accessible places and to shape extraordinary tours around them.
What’s the least favorite part of your job? Staying home! I love to travel.
Is there an item that you always travel with? My black pants with the elastic waistband from Chico’s. They never wrinkle and the forgiving waistband allows me to sample lots of local delicacies.
What is one of your favorite destinations? Bali. A magnificent island where life, religion, and art seem to coexist seamlessly. I am delighted that the State Department’s Travel Warning on Indonesia has now been lifted, and that we can once again bring Smithsonian travelers to this magnificent destination.
A favorite SJ journey? Last year I visited Morocco for the first time with a terrific group of smart, friendly, and inquisitive Smithsonian travelers. Over two full weeks, we traveled from Casablanca to Fez, through the High Atlas Mountains and across desert regions, to exotic, sensory-rich Marrakech and out to the Atlantic coast. We were all so impressed by the richness and diversity of the culture, the hospitality of the people, the stunning scenery, and dazzling architecture. We all vowed to return!