As National Audubon's new Vice President for Community Conservation and Education, Chandra Taylor Smith will head Audubon's unparalleled nationwide network of 47 nature Centers and more than 450 local Chapters. She will also lead Audubon's educational publishing efforts as well as Toyota TogetherGreen, our flagship corporate partnership with Toyota.
Before joining Audubon, Chandra was Vice President for Research at the Council for Opportunity in Education and Director of The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, where she led Pell's mission to encourage policy makers, educators, and the public to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for low-income, first-generation, and disabled college students. Previously, she was the first Executive Director of College Summit Chicago and then served as Deputy Director of the Postsecondary Education and Student Development Department and District Director for AVID at Chicago Public Schools under CEO Arne Duncan. As an ordained Christian minister, she provided pastoral leadership in local churches for several years before working simultaneously as a Development Officer and Assistant Director of Ministerial Studies at Harvard. Chandra lives in Virginia with her husband, Bennie Elvin Smith Jr., her son, Bennie Elvin Smith III, and her mother, Annie Dallas Taylor.
Chandra received a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. She then returned to Vanderbilt, where she earned a doctorate of philosophy.