Allen Smart is a rural philanthropic strategist to regional and national foundations. As the former vice president of programs and the director of the Health Care Division at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, he was the visionary behind the Trust’s Healthy Places NC initiative and Innovations in Rural Health Award. In that role, Allen was instrumental in leading day-to-day work and projects as the Trust has evolved into a high-impact strategic funder focused on supporting long-term transformation in communities. Allen arrived at the Trust in 2006 as the Health Care Division’s senior program officer for the eastern region of North Carolina. Previously, he was the vice president of programs at the Rapides Foundation in Louisiana, where he led the implementation of the Foundation’s first generation of strategic grantmaking. While there, he developed and administered the National Rural Health Association’s 2005 Program of the Year, a statewide medication access program. He also served as director of community development for Ancilla Systems, a Catholic healthcare system based in the Midwest, and worked as the Human Services administrator for the City of Santa Monica, California.
Allen holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Telecommunication Arts from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Macalester College. He currently serves as the chair of the Rankings and Roadmaps National Advisory Group, health leaders who assist County Health Rankings & Roadmaps in awarding the Roadmaps to Health Prize annually. He was also a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Local Funders Partnership Initiative through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is very active with Grantmakers in Health and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations as well, and with the Southeast Council of Foundations. Along with the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers, he has recently started a peer training program for new North Carolina health legacy foundations. Allen’s commitment to community health is almost matched by his passion for the arts. He and his wife, Jane, enjoy live music and watching their son Trent play tennis and clarinet.