Michael J. Smith serves as president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, a 45-year-old economic and community development organization that envisions and implements strategies and actions to assure that Center City Charlotte is a welcoming and equitable, economically vibrant, culturally rich and beloved place for all. Smith is a proven community builder and innovator with over 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience and trusted relationships across the Charlotte region and North Carolina. His background blends corporate, entrepreneurial and nonprofit experience. He has been a driving force behind a number of city-building initiatives, creating and helping shape initiatives that have advanced the landscape for Charlotte in sustainability, economic development, retail development, urban neighborhoods, homelessness, transit and hospitality.
He holds an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree from UNC Chapel Hill.
An experienced civic leader, Smith is past chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Downtown Association. He also serves on a number of regional boards, including Boy Scouts of America Mecklenburg County Council, UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business, the Charlotte Sports Foundation, and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.
Smith was appointed to the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees in 2023 to a four-year term by the UNC Board of Governors.