Brooke Smith

Director of the Foundation’s Public Engagement with Science Program

Brooke Smith is the director of the foundation’s Public Engagement with Science Program, where she works to strengthen the relationship with science and society. Brooke is passionate about scientists engaging with various publics and supporting those who enable scientists to communicate and engage effectively. At The Kavli Foundation, she leads programs to build the field of public engagement with science, to support engagement efforts of the foundation’s partners, and advance science efforts and policies that enable a thriving scientific enterprise.

Brooke’s expertise and experiences are rooted in science, science communication, public engagement of science, public policy, science journalism and organizational leadership and development. Her career has continually focused on supporting science and scientists. Prior to joining the foundation in 2018, Brooke served as the inaugural executive director of COMPASS, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to empowering scientists to be effective communicators and to engage in the public discourse about the environment. She has worked as a university-based communication professional for multi-campus scientific initiatives, as a consultant to foundations and nonprofits, and with and for the federal government – for Booz Allen and Hamilton, as a consultant to the Department of Defense, as well as staff for EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

She frequently writes and speaks about the state and future of the how the public interacts and engages with science. Examples include “The Civic Science Imperative” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the chapter “Science Communication in the United States, It’s Complicated”, and the contributed chapter “A Metro for Science Engagement: Building and Infrastructure to Support Scientists’ Communication and Engagement” in Science Communication Theory and Best Practices, edited by Todd P. Newman.

Brooke was a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow, and currently serves on the National Caucus for Environmental Legislators Board of Directors and the National Academy of Science’s LabX Advisory Board. She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Roundtable on the Public Interfaces of Life Sciences, was courtesy faculty at Oregon State University, served on the National Board of Directors for the Surfrider Foundation and Portland’s Forest Park Conservancy. She has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and an M.S. from Oregon State University. She lives in Culver City, California with her husband and two daughters where they enjoy all kinds of biking (from bike commuting to mountain biking). They love living in sunny Los Angeles and enjoy the year-round local produce but do wish it was easier to go skiing.