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PRSSA 2019 National Assembly

Portland, Oregon | April 4–7


Trisch L. Smith
Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Keynote Speaker
Welcome Reception
Thursday, April 4
7–9 p.m.

Communications expert, public relations strategist, and diversity and inclusion champion are just a few words used to describe Trisch L. Smith. During her 18-year tenure with Edelman, a top global communications marketing agency, Smith has managed stakeholder outreach, strategic positioning, reputation management and public affairs campaigns for a host of Fortune 500 corporations, non-profits and associations seeking to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including Chevron, Toyota, Starbucks, Girl Scouts of the USA, United Way of America and Walmart, among several others.

Smith has led the firm’s award-winning Multicultural practice providing senior counsel to a wide range of clients to protect, promote and evolve their brands and effectively engage diverse thought leaders, consumers and other stakeholders.

In January 2015, Smith was appointed to serve as the company’s first U.S. Managing Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and in fall 2018 she was named Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. In this additional role, Smith partners with leaders across all offices, practices, and sectors to guide Edelman’s organizational structure and programming surrounding diversity and inclusion (D&I). Smith oversees D&I training and development efforts, diversity recruitment, external partnerships and overall strategic engagement to ensure Edelman’s workforce reflects the increasingly diverse marketplace.

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Trisch sits on the Board of Directors of Color Comm: Women of Color in Communications. She served on the boards of the National Black Child Development Institute for and Mentoring USA, and was appointed to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission. Additionally, she is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Smith’s continued work to drive change has been recognized globally. In December 2018, Smith was named a Woman of Excellence and P&L Executive of the Year by the National Association of Female Executives. In March 2017, she was awarded the Spectrum Circle Award for Innovation in Media. In March 2016, she was featured as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” in Savoy Magazine. In May 2016, she was recognized in the Financial Times as one of the “Upstanding 100” for top diverse executive leaders globally. She was also the recipient of the first “Color Comm Circle Award” for being one of the top women of color in communications. 

Smith earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD.