Shavonne F. Smith is a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and has served her community as a tribal employee for the last 15 years. During this time working for the tribe, she began as the Office Manager of the Shinnecock Shellfish Hatchery & Environmental Center; eventually, she was promoted to Program Director. In 2011, the opportunity to head up and develop the Shinnecock Environmental Department became available. She has served in this position since 2011.
In 2016, she was a recipient of a U.S. EPA Region 2 Environmental Champion Award for leadership in the climate change mitigation work on Shinnecock. Climate Change Resiliency has been in the forefront of the tribe’s priorities and identifying resources is an ongoing effort. She works closely with tribal members to identify their concerns and relies on internal community knowledge, as well as external partnerships to support the tribe’s resiliency and sustainability aspirations. Honoring the work of her elders and protecting the future of the children are daily motivations and inspiration.