Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country.


Whitney Smith

Whitney Smith is a Senior Program Director at the Joyce Foundation. She manages the Foundation’s Employment Program grant-making portfolio that supports workforce and skill development initiatives as well as the new Joint Fund for Education and Employment which focuses on scalable solutions for college and career readiness for youth and adults.

Ms. Smith Chairs the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, serves as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative-America, is the co-founder of Workforce Matters (a national affinity group of workforce funders), and the co-founder of the Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance, which she current co-chairs. She sits on several national advisory boards and panels, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Moving Pathways Forward initiative and the U.S. Department of Labor’s effort to establish a 5-year research agenda for employment and training.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2005, Ms. Smith was associate director of the Chicago Jobs Council and she worked with homeless families in New York City.  She served on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Advisory Council on Agriculture, Small Business, and Labor from 2011-2012.

Ms. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in English and women’s studies from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in social service administration with a focus on social policy from the University of Chicago.





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