- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
A proud son of the city that gave birth to basketball and Dr. Seuss (Springfield, Mass.), this Mr. Smith made his way to Washington to create connections, build bridges, and promote innovations that can transform communities in need.
Often known as the resident idealist, Michael sees the silver lining in every cloud and makes the best darn lemonade from lemons you’ll ever taste. Although he’s known for his bright smile and big laugh, Michael spends his days knocking down barriers to success and making sure the little guy always has a voice.
Michael is proud of his work supporting the CEO on economic development efforts in the Palestinian West Bank, working with the Chairman and the White House to Startup America and leading the Foundation’s efforts to tap citizen-centered solutions to social challenges , especially when leveraging exciting new online tools or prizes and open grantmaking. Prior to joining the Case Foundation, he spent a decade helping build foundations and national initiatives aimed at bridging the “digital divide,” and held key positions at local and national organizations working to develop enriching communities and empowered youth.
Michael lives in nearby Alexandria, Va., but considers himself an adopted son of southeast Texas where he spent three years, learned how to ride western, and developed a deep love for the word “y’all.”
Favorite Be Fearless Principle: Let Urgency Conquer Fear
I am constantly inspired and convicted by Dr. King’s words… “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
As a product of an underserved community where poverty and violence were commonplace, I know from personal experience that we don’t have time to wait for the perfect intervention or the panacea accepted by all of academia and civil society. Every minute we wait for perfection, every minute we ignore a promising innovation and every minute we delay action, a child falls through the cracks, a neighbor in need gives up, a family is torn apart. Those of us charged with building social safety nets and spring boards, have an awesome privilege and responsibility to act with urgency to create a world where our children (today’s children as well as tomorrows) are safe, healthy and have an opportunity to use their unique talents to make an impact on this world never seen before.