As a Capacity Building Specialist for Fair Chance DC, Dorothy Smith supports youth-serving nonprofit organizations working in DC’s must underserved communities to increase their impact by providing expertise and leadership coaching in organizational development and management. Smith has worked in the public sector for more than ten years, and joins Fair Chance after working as the Director of Operations for Ashoka’s Youth Venture. Prior to her time at Youth Venture, Smith helped advance the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s (CSSP) community change work, developing tools and providing technical assistance to support local, place-based efforts to improve child and family well-being. She also served as a fellow at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), where she assessed and tracked the work of state poverty task forces and authored a report on the need to revise federal poverty guidelines. Working with the DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Smith worked on a range of local governance issues impacting residents and co-authored HIV/AIDS in the Nation’s Capital: Improving the District’s Response to a Public Health Crisis.
Smith is a graduate of Harvard University, where she received the Harvard Pforzheimer Fellowship for Public Service in support of her HIV/AIDS prevention and youth empowerment work in South Africa. She received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where she was awarded the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship for public service and the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding contribution to the School of Law. While at NYU School of Law, she worked for a variety of direct legal services and human rights organizations, also founding the NYU Law Women of Color Collective and serving on the NYU Black Allied Law Student Association executive board.
Smith is a certified integral coach, a graduate of the New Ventures West Professional Coaching Course.