Stephanie Ellis-Smith is the owner of the philanthropy advisory firm Phila Engaged Giving. She believes strongly in being a compassionate and generous member of society and has devoted much of her life to the enrichment of her community. Through a diverse background in the arts and sciences. Stephanie is a philanthropist, activist and volunteer. She is the founder and former Executive Director of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas (CD Forum), an organization that presents and produces lectures, readings, and performing arts events rooted in African-American culture. Prior to the CD Forum, she worked with the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project, a prestigious endeavor and the first done for an African-American artist, that located, catalogued, re-photographed, and published the 1,100 work oeuvre of the artist. Before the arts, she was in the biological sciences where she studied at UCLA and the University of Washington.
Stephanie has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Washington State Arts Commission, appointed by Governor Gary Locke; the Seattle Arts Commission, appointed by Mayor Greg Nickels; and the Central Waterfront Committee, appointed by Mayor Ed Murray. She is on the board of YWCA King/Snohomish County, the outgoing Board Chair of Artist Trust, and an Advisor to the University of Washington Press and BlackPast.org. She has been a trustee for KUOW Public Radio serving as its Vice President; Leadership Tomorrow, and City Club. She has received numerous awards including PSBJ’s “40 Under 40” and the Seattle Weekly’s “Best Expander of Cultural Boundaries”. She is married to the Russian historian, Douglas Smith and has two teenagers and a Doberman.