- MA, History Museum Management and American Folklife, Cooperstown Graduate Program
BA, English Literature, Cornell University
Leila Smith has more than 35 years of experience in the nonprofit world, in cultural management and governance, and in community activism. She was, for 10 years, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington and has also worked for the Institute for Museum [and Library] Services, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She began her career as Assistant Supervisor of Education at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. Her master's work focused on the origins of the Smithsonian Institution's collections. She was recognized in 1973, with the late Peter Smith, as a Washingtonian of the Year for her work as a founder and long-time president of Don't Tear it Down, a groundbreaking urban environmental advocacy group. She received a (DC) Mayor's Arts Award and an award from the League of Washington Theatres for service to the arts. She has been published in Smithsonian Magazine and the Washington Post, and is a member of Leadership Washington. Prior to coming to AU she was Director of the New Century College Nonprofit Studies Program at George Mason University.