Andrea (Andi) Smith will be joining Ballmer Group’s philanthropy team as executive director of our Washington state work. In this role, Andi will develop a strategic plan that advances our existing regional grant making and civic activism, identify new partnership opportunities, and coordinate with our national work and regional efforts in Los Angeles County and the Detroit tri-county region.
In Washington, we are particularly interested in ways we can support aligning the work of many sectors – government, nonprofits, and philanthropy - to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families and make progress on economic mobility. Andi brings to the position a deep knowledge of Washington state, as well as a wealth of experience in government systems and policy work. She has spent time working on issues in child welfare, early childhood, homeless youth, and housing – all of which align with the priorities of Ballmer Group.
Prior to joining Ballmer Group, Andi was the executive director of external affairs for Governor Jay Inslee. Andi’s previous role with Governor Inslee was as senior policy advisor, where she advised the governor on an array of human services issues including child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, cash and nutritional assistance, homelessness and housing, as well as veteran’s issues. Before that, Andi worked for the Washington State House of Representatives as the lead policy analyst for higher education issues.
Andi has lived in the Seattle area since 1998, working predominantly in children's mental health and child welfare, and serving at-risk kids and families in educational settings. She worked briefly in Washington, DC, doing analysis and advocacy for the reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. A native North Dakotan, Andi earned her bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and her masters from the University of Washington.
Andi will be joining our Washington team in late April.