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Kim Smith

Kim Smith
Founder, Pahara Institute

A catalyzer of leaders, ideas and networks, Kim Smith is passionate about ensuring all of our young people have access to the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to thrive in life, college, careers and our diverse pluralistic democracy. 

Currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Cambiar Education, Kim is also the founder of the Pahara Institute, where she focused on strengthening and sustaining diverse high integrity change makers and leaders. Immediately prior, she was co-founder of Bellwether Education Partners. Earlier in her career she was a founding team member at Teach For America, created an BAYAC AmeriCorps program serving community-based leaders in youth development, led a trade show start-up, and did a stint in online learning at Silicon Graphics. After completing her MBA at Stanford, she co-founded the NewSchools Venture Fund, focused on catalyzing a bipartisan, cross-sector community of entrepreneurial change agents for public education. She is widely recognized as an entrepreneurial leader in education, and was featured in Newsweek’s “Women of the 21st Century” as “the kind of woman who will shape America’s new century.”

Kim has served on a range of boards, currently: Pahara Institute, NewSchools Venture Fund, Lone Rock Retreat, The Institute for Citizens and Scholars. Previous Boards include: GreatSchools, Carnegie Learning, TeachScape, LearnNow, Rocketship Education, East Bay Innovation Academy, among others. Kim has authored publications including “What Is Educational Entrepreneurship?” “Creating Responsive Supply in Education”, “Innovation in Education: Problems and Opportunities”, “Supporting and Scaling Change: Lessons from the First Round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) Program”, and “Steering Capital: Optimizing Financial Support for Innovation in Public Education.” She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Cambiar Education, and lives in northern CA, with her husband and two daughters.

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