Jill W. Smith
Prize Committee Member
Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Genesis Prize Foundation
Chair, Jewish Foundation for Education of Women
Jill W. Smith is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (1975) and holds an MBA in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1977). Upon graduation from Wharton, Ms. Smith worked at Goldman Sachs in securities sales. From 1981-1986, she was vice president in equity trading at Furman, Selz, Mager, Dietz & Birney. In 1995, she worked as director for the Innocence Project, which is a litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. She then received her JD from New York Law School in 2002. Upon passing the bar, she became a self-employed federal criminal defense attorney from 2004-2009.
Ms. Smith is very active in philanthropy. She currently sits on the board of the UJA-Federation of NY, which is the largest local philanthropy in the world, raising and allocating about $200 million per year to "care for people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities in New York, in Israel, and around the world." As a UJA board member since 2009, she is co-chair of planning for the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal (COJIR), which funds hundreds of Jewish education and identity-building organizations, including the Teva Learning Center, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, and Kveller.com. She is also the Chair of the Jewish Life on Campus Cross Commission Task Force at UJA and the past chair of the FSU Task Force, which helped found "The Moscow Jewish Community House." Ms. Smith also serves as a member of the Network Commission, which reviews, oversees, and adds capacity to the UJA network of agencies. Since 2015, Ms. Smith is also a board member of Hillel International.
In 2010, Ms. Smith became president of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW), which aims to enable women with financial needs to meet their education and career goals through scholarship and supportive services. She has been an active board member at JFEW since 1992. In 2014, Ms. Smith became Chair of JFEW.
Additionally, since 2012, her philanthropic work includes her being a board member and chair of the Development Committee of Moishe House. In 2012, she also became a member of the Oversight Committee for the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY. Ms. Smith is married to Robert C. Smith, managing director at Greenhill & Co. They have two daughters: Jessica (Willy Friedman) and Lilly (Sean Gibson).