FELICIA CUMINGS SMITH
FELICIA CUMINGS SMITH
Senior Director of Global Delivery
National Geographic Society
As senior director of Global Delivery at the National Geographic Society, Felicia C. Smith oversees the domestic and global education strategy implementation and programming focused on transforming the classroom experience for millions of students and educators. She oversees a team of regional directors charged to enhance partnerships with various education entities to inspire the next generation of planetary stewards.
Felicia’s career in education spans more than two decades where she has served in a variety of leadership roles in P-12, higher education, non-for-profit, and philanthropy. Her career has allowed her to experience leading systems understanding every vantage point of a young person’s educational trajectory from preschool to adulthood. She is driven by her commitment to equity and excellence for every learner. She has been a fierce advocate for teacher leadership programs, competency-based education, college and career readiness, policy transformation, and professional learning. Her non-traditional pathway to leadership has helped her maintain a focus on improving learning outcomes by ensuring effective classroom practices spread and scale across systems. She has advocated for transforming teacher preparation and in-service practices in an effort to promote the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for educators to effectively lead in the 21st century. This has been a goal of hers since she entered into the profession.
Prior to joining the National Geographic Society, Felicia served as assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning in the 27th largest urban district, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Kentucky; as a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; associate commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Education; and teacher leader. She began her career as a classroom teacher in the elementary grades and has taught as a preservice lecturer at the University of Kentucky. Felicia has been recognized as a Pahara-Aspen Education fellow and serves as a member on several national and local boards.
Felicia holds an Ed.D. in education leadership and administration from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis on K-12 literacy development, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Louisville.