Riley Smith hails from southern Maine but lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
In high school, she had the honor of serving as Vice President of her class, of the National Honor Society, and of the Student Council. She also planned a school-wide anti-bullying event and founded her school’s first ever Civil Rights and Social Justice Club. It was during her time in this club that Riley met a human rights attorney, an experience that cemented her desire to remain a lifelong activist.
In college, Riley studied politics and theatre arts. She acted in ten theater productions, rowed on the college’s varsity crew team, and served as a class officer for three years. She also held two internships; one through GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and another through Point Foundation’s affiliation with the Elton John AIDS Foundation. For the latter, she developed HIV curriculum for college students in the Pioneer Valley. During her senior year, she served on the college’s New Student Orientation Board and worked in the Office of Admission where she interviewed prospective students. Her senior honors thesis analyzed the structures of and strategies employed by two different grassroots organizations during the beginning of the HIV Crisis in New York City. She graduated cum laude with honor.
Riley enjoys a good athletic challenge and has bicycled across the entire continental twice to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. She has previously worked as a legal assistant at GLAD. She currently works as a consultant at a technology firm and uses technology to assist nonprofits with operations, data quality, and capacity.