Spotlight on STEM Changemaker: Michael D. Smith (AKA Dr. Mike)

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As part of NGCP's 20th Anniversary celebrations, we will be interviewing influential equity and STEM leaders and partners throughout 2022.

NGCP board member Michael D. Smith, D.Eng., known by many as "Dr. Mike," is operations manager for The PEER Group, a consulting company that specializes in evaluation, organizational leadership and development, and research. He has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit organizational operations and change management, governance, program development and implementation, strategic planning, meeting and event planning, and diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) advocacy, with a specialty in STEM fields.

What excites you most about your work?

My ability to engage young girls and people of color in the hopes of inspiring their interest in STEM, or to simply reach for their dreams is so exciting. Engineering education is my life's work that has afforded me the opportunity to learn and share academic and professional development opportunities with youth through technical professionals.

What do you most appreciate in a collaborator?

Shared vision and open communication are the bedrock of collaboration. I appreciate being able to leverage the strengths of partners to support optimal impact of our joint efforts. Let's not reinvent the wheel, but work together to create the next generation wheel.

Who are your role models?

Wow, there are many people that have inspired me and served as role models. The role model/s I would highlight are the youth — the creative minds of young girls and boys that prove to be the next generation of innovators. We can learn so much from their fearless attitude toward the future.

What advice would you give to the NGCP community?

Invest in the "long game." As we navigate this new digital age where young girls (and boys) are much more engaged and informed in technology, we must remain dedicated to providing the STEM-based resources, experiences, and opportunities needed for them to be successful. We will see short-term wins and losses, yet slow and steady wins the race.

Michael D. Smith (A.K.A. Dr. Mike)

Michael D. Smith (A.K.A. Dr. Mike)

Michael D. Smith, D.Eng., is currently Operations Specialist with The PEER Group, a consulting company that specializes in evaluation, organizational leadership and development, and research with a focus on equity and inclusion. He also served as the former Deputy Executive Director of The National GEM Consortium (GEM) where he was responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operational, financial, programmatic, event planning, external communications, strategic partnerships and board support services management of the organization, including management of the GEM Fellowship Program.

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