James A. Smith

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James Allen Smith "is a historian who has written on public policy, philanthropy, civil society, and American cultural policy. He was appointed to the Waldemar A. Nielsen Chair in Philanthropy at Georgetown University as a visiting professor in 2003-2004. He has returned to hold the chair for a longer term appointment beginning in 2005. He teaches in the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership.

"Smith is the author of three books, including The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite (Free Press, 1991), which won awards from the American Historical Association and the National Academy of Public Administration and has been widely translated. His most recent articles, essays, and book chapters have focused on American and European philanthropy and on cultural policy and the financial support for cultural organizations

"From 2000 to 2005 he served as Senior Adviser to the President of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Prior to joining the Getty, he was the first Executive Director of The Howard Gilman Foundation, a post he held from 1991 to 1999, while working to shape its programs in the arts, environmental conservation, and medical research. In 1993 he helped establish the Center for Arts and Culture, a Washington-based cultural policy research center and served as President of the Center’s Board of Directors from 1993 to 2001. He began his foundation career as a program officer at the Twentieth Century Fund (now The Century Foundation) in 1979.

"Smith is a founding board member of the Creative Capital Foundation, a fund established in 1999 to support individual artists. He is also a trustee of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation in New York. He serves as chairman of the advisory board of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the City University of New York and is a member of the advisory board of the School of Public Affairs at UCLA. In 2004 he joined the board of the alumni corporation of Colgate University. He has also written for and performed throughout the U.S. with VisionIntoArt (VIA), an interdisciplinary arts ensemble founded at New York’s Juilliard School in 1999.

"Smith is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Colgate University where he earned his A.B. magna cum laude. He received his A.M. and Ph.D. in medieval history from Brown University where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow; he was also a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Ghent (Belgium). He has taught medieval history at Brown University, Smith College and the University of Nebraska. From 1987 to 1999 he was on the adjunct faculty of the New School University where he taught in the nonprofit management program of the Milano School; he is also a senior fellow and sometime visiting professor at UCLA, where he has focused on cultural policy issues." [1]

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  1. James A. Smith, Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership, accessed May 22, 2008.