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Lanell Smith

Lanell's current role as the Chief of Staff to the CEO at Think of Us marks a significant transition into the realm of child welfare, aligning his extensive background in educational leadership with a renewed focus on advocating for and supporting the needs of children and families. In this position, he is instrumental in steering strategic initiatives, fostering organizational efficiency, and ensuring that the CEO's vision for transformative child welfare practices is effectively communicated and implemented. This transition builds upon his previous role as the Director of People and Culture at Chiefs for Change, where he shaped the organization’s ethos and values, serving as both a strategic advisor and a cultural architect. In this role, Lanell championed the mission of transforming educational equity and excellence, an endeavor that now extends to his advocacy in child welfare. His responsibilities in human resources, talent acquisition, employee well-being, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives laid a solid foundation for his current focus on child welfare systems. Lanell's diverse experience in the education sector, including his roles as a program manager at EdReports and associate director of special projects at Aspire Public Schools in Memphis, has equipped him with a unique perspective on the intersections of education and child welfare. His leadership at Aspire was characterized by his skill in driving development efforts and managing partnerships and projects, skills that are now pivotal in his approach to child welfare. Previously, Lanell also contributed significantly to regional recruitment efforts for Education Pioneers, initiated the CLOUD901 Learning Laboratory for the City of Memphis, and was involved in Talent Operations at TNTP, experiences that have enriched his understanding of the systemic challenges and opportunities in both education and child welfare. Holding a doctorate in educational leadership from East Tennessee State University, a master’s in education from Northeastern University, and a bachelor’s in management and organizational development from Bethel University, Lanell brings a wealth of knowledge and a multifaceted perspective to his current role. His academic background, coupled with his professional journey, positions him uniquely to make a profound impact in the field of child welfare.

Top Areas of Focus

Exec Team Organization & Mgmt
Internal Comms
People & Culture
Project Management
Strategy & Planning
Team Offsites & External Events
Change Management

CoS Start Date

Jan 22, 2024

Current Industry

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