Dr. Ryan J. Smith

President & CEO

February 7, 2024

Dr. Ryan J. Smith Appointed as St. Joseph Center President & CEO

St. Joseph Center ushers in a new era of dynamic and transformative leadership with the appointment of Dr. Ryan J. Smith as President and Chief Executive Officer

VENICE, CA – St. Joseph Center, one of the largest grassroots organizations in Los Angeles County focused on providing housing, mental health, job training, and other vital services to underserved communities, announced today that Dr. Ryan J. Smith has been appointed to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1st, 2024.

Dr. Ryan J. Smith is a dynamic leader in the social services sector, with 20 years of experience in nonprofit management. As a staunch advocate for the power of community for social good, Dr. Smith has made a lasting impact in California and nationwide by championing equity in public services, particularly in the realms of social and economic justice.

Currently serving as an Affordable Housing Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, Dr. Smith brings management, systems change, and community engagement experience to his new role as President and CEO. Prior to joining St. Joseph Center, Dr. Smith served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Community Coalition—an organization founded thirty years ago by Mayor Karen Bass with the mission of transforming the social and economic conditions of residents in South Los Angeles and beyond. Notably, Dr. Smith managed the successful Make LA Whole antipoverty campaign, securing over $200 million in city funds for high-need communities.

“I am humbled and excited to join the incredible team at St. Joseph Center,” said Dr. Ryan J. Smith. “I hope to build upon its incredible legacy, fostering an environment where outreach and engagement, housing, mental health, and job training programs are always at the heart of our work.”

“St. Joseph Center is a critical partner in providing services and housing Angelenos across the County. They have been key in the establishment of Los Angeles County’s Pathway Home – RV program. I look forward to Dr. Smith’s leadership in this next phase of the organization.” – Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell

“Dr. Smith is a visionary with a proven track record of success. With a lifetime of work focused on equity, he is the smart, mission-focused leader St. Joseph Center needs to advance the agency’s efforts in homeless services,” said Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, CEO of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and the former President & CEO of St. Joseph Center.

“Throughout his life, Dr. Smith has been committed to making a positive impact in California and across our nation. His initiative, success, and passion for advancing equity in public services have been underscored by his distinguished career. I look forward to working alongside him in his new role as CEO to find solutions to our housing crisis and create more opportunities for Angelenos in need,” said Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove.

Before his tenure at Community Coalition, Dr. Smith served as Interim CEO and Chief External Officer for LA Unified’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an organization supporting over 15,000 students and their families. In this role, Dr. Smith provided instrumental support in the development, communications, policy and advocacy, and community engagement programs.

“For two decades, Dr. Smith has brought his experience, energy, and focus into building programs and opportunities for those in our underserved communities and will be vital to maintaining St. Joseph’s mission of hope through empowerment,” said Culver City Mayor Yasmin Imani-McCorrin.

St. Joseph Center is an inclusive, diverse force for change, working to provide underserved, low-income families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable, and self-supporting members of the community.

For almost fifty years, St. Joseph Center has been at the forefront of supporting unhoused men and women across Los Angeles. Last year, St. Joseph Center connected over 2,400 individuals with housing, provided over 45,000 hours of mental health care, and served over 46,000 hot, nutritious meals to homeless men and women at their Bread and Roses Café. St. Joseph Center has also been a leading advocate for the advancement of underserved women in the workplace, with their digital web technology job training program, Codetalk, lowincome and underserved women are given the tools and skills they need to find employment in the technology industry.

A report from the USC Price Homelessness Policy Research Institute found that a homelessness outreach effort led by St. Joseph Center in the summer of 2021, Ocean Front Walk Encampment to Homes Project, was able to “move 93% of its clients into permanent housing — far above the normal rate than standard outreach programs,” said the report. “The findings show the program’s ability to immediately offer housing and spend more time with clients to gain their trust helped house more people and provide other services, such as transportation, health care and employment assistance.”

“In the days ahead, I plan to work side-by-side with the incredible team of staff and volunteers at St. Joseph Center, partnering with the community at large to meet the needs of our underserved neighbors,” said Dr. Smith.

Dr. Ryan J. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Doctorate of Education from UCLA, and is a recipient of both the National Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellowship, and the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs.

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