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Aurora Institute

Felicia Cumings Smith

Senior Director, US Regions

National Geographic


Board Secretary

As senior director of Global Delivery at the National Geographic Society, Felicia C. Smith oversees the domestic and global education strategy implementation and programming focused on transforming the classroom experience for millions of students and educators. She oversees a team of regional directors charged to enhance partnerships with various education entities to inspire the next generation of planetary stewards.

Felicia’s career in education spans more than two decades where she has served in a variety of leadership roles in P-12, higher education, non-for-profit, and philanthropy. Her career has allowed her to experience leading systems understanding every vantage point of a young person’s educational trajectory from preschool to adulthood. Prior to joining the National Geographic Society, Felicia served as assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning in the 27th largest urban district, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Kentucky; as a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; associate commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Education; and teacher leader. She began her career as a classroom teacher in the elementary grades and has taught as a preservice lecturer at the University of Kentucky. Felicia has been recognized as a Pahara-Aspen Education fellow and serves as a member on several national and local boards.

Felicia holds an Ed.D. in education leadership and administration from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis on K-12 literacy development, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Louisville.