If you were to ask the articulate yet unassuming Anne Smart (Miami honors graduate of 2007) to share something about herself, she might mention her house in Silicon Valley. She might comment on her furry, four-legged companions – two spaniels, named Grover and Murray. Or she might recall her education: her undergraduate degrees from Miami in Public Administration and Environmental Studies, or her Master’s degree from the University of Delaware in Energy and Environmental Policy. One characteristic that she will almost surely mention, though, is her passion for the environment.
In college, from the beginning of her experience at Miami, Anne was actively involved in trying to help positively shape Miami’s approach toward environmental sustainability. As a first-year student, she helped another student, Marcy Bauer, who was creating a sustainability recommendation for Miami as a senior project (view the entire report and Anne’s acknowledgement here: http://www.aashe.org/files/resources/student-research/2009/Bauer%20Marcy.pdf ). Later, she played a large role in coordinating Make a Difference Day through the Honors Program’s Honors and Scholars Advisory Board (HSAB). Through HSAB, Anne led the organization of Make a Difference Day, an annual event to clean up Oxford. For her efforts, Anne was awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Award.
Anne also pursued her interest in the environment through academic coursework. She was drawn to Miami’s Western College Program at Miami, which offered her the opportunity to explore her interest in the environment through a variety of disciplines. She took courses in everything from architecture to political science to biology. In fact, in a physics course she met and found a mentor in Miami Physics faculty member, Dr. William (Bill) Rauckhorst. In his course she explored energy issues, but through Anne’s continuing conversations with Bill, she eventually wound up doing an independent study with him on alternative energy and peak oil. After she graduated, Anne kept in contact with Bill – even seeking his insights when she wrote her thesis for the University of Delaware on California’s climate policy.
Blending her interests in improving the environment and politics, Anne joined a non-profit organization called the Silicon Valley Leadership Group after obtaining her Master’s degree. This organization represents over 340 Silicon Valley employers – including Google, Apple, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard - on issues and public policies that affect “the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley” ( http://svlg.org/about/mission.php ). The Leadership Group advocates for its member companies on a wide array of policies and programs including: renewable energy, water conservation, public transportation, affordable housing, tax policy, health care, immigration reform, cybersecurity and climate change.
In March 2011, Anne was promoted to the Director of Energy within this organization, a role that can sometimes see her writing letters and responding to phone calls one day, and then works closely with CEOs and politicians, including California’s governors, the next! She helps the Group’s member companies become more aware of energy efficiency, ways to build more sustainable buildings and data centers. It’s an odd mixture, she notes, or “on the ground work in California and then high-level meetings and interactions in Washington DC.”
A young professional, Anne’s successes so far have earned Dr. Rauckhorst’s respect. Bill notes that, “It’s a great pleasure to see Anne Smart’s career success since graduating from Miami University in 2007.” In the summer of 2011, Anne organized a “Silicon Valley Energy Summit.” The summit, which was held at Stanford University and featured a number of prominent speakers, also drew Bill to attend. He was impressed, noticing “the many talents that Anne demonstrated in my Energy and Environment honors course and a subsequent independent study are still very evident.”
Moving forward, Anne will continue enjoying her experience in the professional world after so many years of school. She has plenty of plans: to continue to expand her group’s membership, to see what happens in California in 2012 when their environmental cap-and-trade law goes into action, to coordinate another summit on data center efficiency and sustainability, and to spend more time in Washington DC as part of an ongoing effort to create a national energy plan. As Bill notes, “As Director of Energy for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, she is in a great position to address the major energy and environmental issues facing the U.S. and the world.”