Eshauna Smith

Board Member - Former CEO, Urban Alliance; Director of Community Mobilization, Ballmer Group

Eshauna joined the Ballmer Group in 2021 as their first national Director of Community Mobilization, where she helps to improve economic mobility and reduce racial disparities at scale through place-based partnerships with a specific focus on building talent pipelines to accelerate progress. Previously, Eshauna served as President and later CEO of Urban Alliance from 2013-2021. Under Eshauna’s leadership, Urban Alliance strengthened and grew its operations across three new cities, developed new national corporate partnerships, and expanded its workforce readiness programming to serve younger high school grades,– more than doubling the number of youth served each year. Eshauna has received numerous recognitions and awards for her leadership and advocacy work on behalf of youth and families, most recently being named a 2019 Murdoch Community Hero and a Women Who Mean Business honoree by the Washington Business Journal. In 2015, Eshauna conducted a TEDx talk entitled the “Lucky Ones” to shine a light on the uneven distribution of access to opportunity within underserved communities.

Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Eshauna was Senior Policy Advisor for Disconnected Youth and Workforce Development in the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education where she led the development of Raise DC, the District’s first cradle-to-career partnership focused on improving educational and workforce development outcomes for DC youth from 0-24. Between 2006-2010, Eshauna served as the founding Executive Director of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, a coalition of over 100 youth-serving organizations focused on youth employment, youth homelessness and strengthening out-of-school-time supports. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas, Austin.