Vice President of Strategic Engagement

Ivonne Smith-Tapia joined the council team in April of 2020 as Vice President of Strategic Engagement. Bringing 15 years of experience in program design, technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation of programs with international nonprofits and government agencies, she will work to strengthen partnership opportunities and evaluate the impact of the Council’s programs. Ivonne holds master’s degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Social Work with a certificate in Human Services Management.

Ivonne worked more than a decade with the Colombian government, international NGOs and think-tanks promoting community development, education, human rights, and leadership in diverse rural and urban communities. While working with Ideas for Peace Foundation, Ivonne managed a program to assist local and international companies such as AngloGold Ashanti, Scania, and Hoover to improve their corporate social responsibility strategies. She helped them adhere to the United Nations Global Compact initiative and Guias Colombia, a National Business Initiative aimed to recognize and respect human rights and international humanitarian law.

She moved to Pittsburgh in 2013. While in Pittsburgh, she has worked with the University of Pittsburgh designing and coordinating projects aimed to work in partnership with families, communities, and local organizations. With the Office of Child Development, Ivonne has provided professional development and technical assistance to Family Support Centers in the areas of quality improvement, evaluation, inclusion, diversity, parent leadership, outreach and engagement.

Ivonne has a passion for exploring cultures and ways in which culture influences our behaviors and interactions in private and public spaces. This passion has driven her to share her knowledge with local organizations on the importance of cultural diversity and creating positive and productive connections with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Ivonne is also an active member of the community; she is on Casa San Jose’s Board of Directors and participates in county initiatives such as DHS Immigrant & Internationals and The Global Switchboard’s Global Learning Coalition.