Stephanie Ellis-Smith is a leader with 20 years of experience in the philanthropic sector. She has held every seat at the social sector’s table: non-profit CEO, social enterprise COO, trustee, mentor, and civic activist. Stephanie has held leadership roles that showcase her vision, dedication and expertise at a variety of organizations, foundations, government agencies and companies.
Stephanie is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) and a Certified 21/64 Advisor in multi-generational family philanthropy. She is the founder and former Executive Director of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas (CD Forum), an organization that presents and produces lectures, readings, and performing arts events rooted in African-American culture. Prior to the CD Forum, she worked with the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project, a prestigious endeavor that located, catalogued, re-photographed, and published the entire 1,100 work oeuvre of the artist in a two-volume publication.
She has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Washington State Arts Commission, appointed by Governor Gary Locke; the Seattle Arts Commission, appointed by Mayor Greg Nickels; and the Central Waterfront Committee, appointed by Mayor Ed Murray. She is on the board of the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy, YWCA King/Snohomish County, the outgoing Board Chair of Artist Trust, and an Advisor to the University of Washington Press and BlackPast.org. She has been a trustee for KUOW Public Radio, Leadership Tomorrow, and City Club. She lives in Seattle with her husband, a teenager, and a Doberman.
RECOGNITION & AWARDS
The Creative Catalyst Award, Artist Trust
City of Seattle Proclamation “Stephanie Ellis-Smith Day” October 21, 2009
Community Hero Award, The Microsoft Corporation
Best Expander of Cultural Boundaries, Seattle Weekly
40 Under 40 Award, Puget Sound Business Journal
Talented Tenth Award, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The Evergreen Award for Non-Profit Leadership
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