Shadawn Smith

Shadawn Smith

VP, External Affairs and Community Engagement
NYC & Company

Categories covered by Shadawn

Sessions covered by this speaker


Advocacy vs. Lobbying: Using Each Effectively

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About this Speaker

Shadawn is a dedicated public servant in both her personal and professional life. She was introduced to New York City’s politics and community organizing while working at Columbia University in the office responsible for rolling out the University’s expansion plans to the surrounding communities. After nine years of working for the City of New York as a city planner and then as a finance analyst for the City Council, Shadawn brought her expertise to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. During her six-year tenure, Shadawn advocated for capital funding from the City and State and was instrumental in securing from government over $15 million for the museum’s largest infrastructure project. Additionally, she was selected to be on a taskforce that developed a DEI plan, in hopes of making the museum a more diverse and inclusive place for its staff and visitors. In 2018 Shadawn began as the Director of External Affairs and Public Engagement for NYC & Company, the destination marketing organization for the five boroughs. She immediately tackled City Council relations and became the organization’s voice for equity and diversity in its marketing and business practices. This led her to be promoted to Vice President of External Affairs and Community Engagement only after one year at the organization. She was honored by the publication, City and State, as one of “2014 40 Under 40 Rising Stars: NYC’s Next Generation of Political Leaders.” In addition, she was nominated in 2016 and 2017 for one of the Professional Women in Advocacy’s Excellence in Advocacy awards. Outside of work, she does a variety of community service projects and is an advocate for voter rights, civil rights, and women’s rights. Shadawn serves as Co-Chair on the board of New Yorkers for Culture, is on the advisory board of Seeds of Fortune, and was recently appointed to her community board. She is a Jersey Girl, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for almost 25 years, and is a proud alum of a historically black college and university, South Carolina State University. She went on to receive master’s degrees from Virginia Tech and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Shadawn loves all things creative and is an avid traveler. But what she is most passionate about is being Auntie to CJ, Kai, and Caleb.