Adrienne Smith is the Managing Director of the Research and Action Hub at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. In this role, she is responsible for designing a strategic plan for the Research and Action Hub and building and managing a community of research and policy centers aimed at enhancing policy impact and leveraging research to grow women’s economic, political, and social power. She is also managing a grants program to commission original research in the gender-equity space.
Before joining IWPR, Dr. Smith was a Senior Associate at Abt Associates, a social science research and consulting firm. As a member of the company’s Social and Economic Policy division, she directed large, multi-year research projects and program evaluations for funders in the U.S. government and foundations. These projects spanned diverse policy areas and issues such as workforce training, postsecondary education, community development, affordable housing, and other policies and programs aimed at addressing poverty and inequality. She also co-led Abt’s Housing, Communities, and Asset-Building market center, which involved planning and coordinating the center’s events and publications, working with corporate communications team to produce marketing and communications pieces, assisting in the development of equitable evaluation strategies and tools, among other activities.
Before Abt, Dr. Smith was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Tennessee. She conducted research and taught courses on U.S. politics and policymaking, public policy processes, women and politics, urban, local and state politics and policymaking, and race/ethnicity and politics. She also co-founded the university’s Intersectionality Community of Scholars. Dr. Smith has published research extensively in academic journals and policy reports.
Dr. Smith has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Emory University and a B.A. in Government and Politics and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Maryland College Park.