Michael J. Smsith

Mike Smith is an AIDS activist and community leader who has spent 30 years leading and building community-based non-profits that improve the health and lives of marginalize or underserved populations.

He recently retired after 13 years as Executive Director of the AIDS Emergency Fund and Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. The two agencies annually help more than 2,500 low-income people disabled by HIV/AIDS or in treatment for breast cancer pay their bills while undergoing treatment or when they are too sick to work.

Mike is the co-founder of the NAMES PROJECT AIDS Memorial Quilt and served as managing director there from 1987 to 1989. During his tenure there, the Quilt grew from an idea to more than 15,000 memorial panels in 20 countries.  In 1989, organization was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the film about the Quilt, Common Threads, received the Academy Award for Best Documentary.  He returned to the NAMES Project in 1996 to produce the last full-scale display of the Quilt in Washington DC that year.

Mike’s undergraduate degree is from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.