Bradford K. Smith joined Foundation Center as its president on October 1, 2008. Previously, Mr. Smith was president of the Oak Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, a major family foundation with programs and grant activities in 41 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Prior to joining the Oak Foundation he developed and led the Ford Foundation's Peace and Social Justice Program, the foundation's largest program area. During his 10-year tenure as vice president, he distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations working on issues of human rights, international cooperation, governance, and civil society in the U.S. and around the world.
Mr. Smith has devoted his entire career to the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. He first joined the Ford Foundation as a program officer in its Brazil office before being promoted to representative. Prior to that, he directed the Brazil program of the Inter-American Foundation. At the start of his career, he worked for the YMCA of the USA, both in Costa Rica and New York, where he became manager for world development at its Center for International Management Studies.
Mr. Smith serves on the board of directors of the Tinker Foundation and the advisory board of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security. He holds an M.A. in economics from the New School for Social Research in New York and a B.A. in anthropology and ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan.