Michael L. Smith Managing Director
“I serve at LEO because I believe in the vision of the University of Notre Dame to be a force for good in the world. LEO makes good on this commitment as we work to reduce poverty in our country through evidence-based programs and policies. During the years I spent in the poverty-fighting field as a service provider, I found one of the areas we were sorely lacking was evidence of what works. Being at LEO allows me to help our partners pair their work with our amazing research team here at Notre Dame, allowing their impact to show and scale.”
As the Michael L. Smith Managing Director, Heather pushes forward LEO’s vision of learning what works to reduce poverty. She's an expert speaker on poverty and nonprofit strategy, and she served as the CEO of Catholic Charities Fort Worth for 14 years before joining the LEO team. She received her BA in Social Work from Texas Christian University, her MS in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington, and her Executive MBA from Texas Christian University.
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