Penny Smith is the director of learning and impact at Erikson Institute and a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®). She serves as the team leader for the Policy and Leadership Department and is responsible for activating the base of committed Illinois leaders to continue to protect and increase investments in early childhood; contribute to building back the early childhood system; and spread the message of early childhood beyond the usual suspects. She provides coaching to Early Childhood Leadership Academy (ECLA) alumni to operationalize plans via trainings, information sharing, policy initiatives and fellow collaborations. She also creates and manages the relationships with clients seeking consultation for fellowship program development across the country.
Previously, as the director of ECLA, Penny set the vision for, designed and implemented capacity-building learning models that integrated applied learning, coaching, and cohort-based training for all programs under the ECLA umbrella. ECLA programs include the Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows and the McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows. She designed curriculum and assessments that help shape the transformative impact that ECLA has on its participants and early childhood communities.
Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Science in training and development from the University of St. Francis.