Smithson previously served as Vice President, Business Strategy at the California Life Sciences Association, the nation’s largest statewide advocacy organization for the life sciences sector. Prior to that, she served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Cleantech San Diego, one of the first cleantech industry associations launched to establish the region as a global hub. Smithson worked in public policy as a Presidential Appointee in several federal agencies and as a registered lobbyist for industry in Washington, D.C. Smithson began her career in broadcast journalism as a news director and anchor for several television and all-talk radio stations. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Leadership Program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast communications from East Carolina University. She has been recognized by multiple organizations, including San Diego Daily Transcript (San Diego’s Top 100 Influentials in 2014), Delegate on California Governor Brown’s Trade Mission to China in 2013 and the San Diego Metro (Women Who Rock in 2012).