Eshauna Smith, CEO, Urban Alliance

Eshauna joined Urban Alliance in March of 2013 as the organization’s first President. In that role, Eshauna was tasked with building partnerships and initiatives at the national level toward growing Urban Alliance’s core work of employing high school youth through paid, year-round internships and supporting them to lead lives of economic self-sufficiency. In June of 2014, Eshauna became Urban Alliance’s national CEO. The fourth CEO in twenty years, Eshauna is focused on building upon the organization’s strong culture of results and use of data-driven approaches, deepening the organization’s core values centered on putting students first, and increasing Urban Alliance’s national visibility and presence. In 2016, Urban Alliance won the coveted Department of Education i3 award for validation and scaling to grow in their current four cities, expand to additional markets and develop a continuous learning and evidence-building agenda. 

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.

CEOs You Should Know - Eshauna Smith, Urban Alliance