Cities United Hires Seasoned Leader as First Chief Executive Officer
PHILADELPHIA—Anthony Smith will lead Cities United as its first chief executive officer, announced Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Co-founded by Mayor Nutter and Mayor Landrieu in 2011, Cities United serves as a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence in American cities related to African American men and boys.
"Anthony's work has prepared him well to lead Cities United," said Nutter. "His personal mission has always been to find opportunities to create better outcomes for African American men and boys, their families and the communities they call home."
Smith, who will begin his new role on Nov. 2, is currently Director for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods in the office of Mayor Greg Fischer in Louisville, KY. He works with city departments, community and faith- based organizations, community members and civic and business leaders to develop prevention strategies to reduce violent crime and create better outcomes for the most impacted populations.
"Anthony Smith has worked tirelessly to make Louisville a safer city and a place of opportunity for all our children and families," said Mayor Fischer. "While I am sad to see him leave, I could not be more proud of him achieving this new leadership role that gives him the chance to advocate for men and boys of color and safer communities on the national stage. We look forward to working with him in his new capacity. The entire country will now get to see the superstar we have had here in Louisville."
A seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience organizing, facilitating, managing, mobilizing, and building networks, Smith is well suited to lead Cities United. He has a long track record of achievement working with civic and political leaders to create community change with a broad array of stakeholders collaborating on a shared vision of hope and possibility.
"I am proud to join Cities United and support its mission to reduce the violent deaths of African American males in this country," Smith said. "Cities United has played a historic role in courageously elevating mayors as critical change agents in addressing the epidemic of violence against African American males."
In his current role, Smith successfully coordinated efforts through national initiatives like Cities United and My Brother's Keeper. He helped secure the selection of Louisville in 2014 as one of only five new sites added to the Department of Justice National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, a federal initiative focused on reclaiming streets and schools from violence and revitalizing communities. Smith's work to align national initiatives with local efforts has generated over $10 million in public and private investments.
"The future of our nation depends on safe, prosperous communities where our young African American men and boys have opportunities to succeed," said Landrieu. "We are proud to announce Anthony as our leader of Cities United-his support and commitment to this work will give us a chance to be more innovative and to create sustainable outcomes."
Cities United, a project of Tides Center, was founded by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in partnership with Casey Family Programs, National League of Cities, Open Society Foundations, and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Today, this movement has grown to include 76 U.S. mayors committed to working with community leaders, families, youth, philanthropic organizations and other stakeholders to reduce the epidemic of homicides and violence plaguing African American men and boys. These cities are also focused on restoring hope to their communities and building pathways to justice, employment, education and increased opportunities for citizens.
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The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.