Stefanie Smith is an enthusiastic and hardworking professional with a diverse background in both the private and public sectors. Prior to her selection as a National Urban Fellow, Stefanie worked as Assistant to the Director of Facilities Operations at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) a quasi-public state agency. In this role, Stefanie aided in managing the operational and external relationships between two departments in addition to general service contractors and union relationship management across four MCCA facilities.

As part of industry affiliation expectations within MCCA, Stefanie served as Region I Secretary within the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) for over three years.  In this role, she implemented new programs, practices, and procedures resulting in a 25% growth in membership and sub-committee participation. Additionally, Stefanie developed and led the Region I’s annual capstone event, the New England Chapter Meeting, where she presented on women’s corporate development. Concurrent to her work at MCCA, she served as policy intern to Massachusetts State Representative Russell E. Homes. In that role she implemented policy activity while executing constituent-centered projects. 

Stefanie earned her Bachelor’s in Communications/Advertising from Salem State University and recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies Program for Women in Politics and Public Policy. She chose to apply to the National Urban Fellows Program because of her belief in the program model and mission and welcomed the opportunity to develop both professionally and personally.  Stefanie has experience in diversity studies, communications, government relations and youth development and, after NUF she hopes to continue working to understand the connections between violence, communications, cognitive behavioral therapy, and youth development.  She also has a desire to pursue a career in public service or run for political office.

As a National Urban Fellow, Stefanie was placed at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) under Mentor Joel Ratner. CNP has tasked her with leveraging her analytical, interpersonal, and leadership abilities to deepen organizational partnerships and help the organization develop, pilot, and implement new economic development, asset-building, and workforce development programs. Stefanie also plays a prominent role in the development of a comprehensive communication strategy and protocol, advancing CNP’s economic opportunity agenda.