SMASH Appoints First Black Woman CEO, Danielle Rose

June 4, 2021
Rose is transitioning from her role as president at the STEM education non-profit organization.

SMASH announces Danielle Rose as the new CEO, transitioning from her role as president. Danielle is SMASH's first Black woman CEO in the organization's 19-year history and will further expand and deepen the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education non-profit's national presence. SMASH was one of the earliest STEM education programs created in the United States as a way to prepare students of color for STEM college studies. It weaves together STEM education, mentorship, identity development and social justice to build the confidence, networks and life skills for high achieving, yet underrepresented students.

"As a product of East Oakland, I know firsthand the value of STEM programs and the need for holistic and deep investment in the education of our most underserved and under-resourced students of color," saya Danielle Rose, CEO, SMASH. "After completing degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from Spelman College and Georgia Tech, working in the aerospace, automotive and energy industries, I have the lived experience to inform what our youth will need to persist and succeed along their STEM journey."

"Danielle is the right person at the right time to lead SMASH to the next level. Long before most people thought tech had a 'diversity problem', SMASH was training the next generation of STEM leaders," says Dr. Freada Kapor Klein, SMASH's founder. "She deeply understands the passion, creativity and resilience our scholars bring. Our alumni are persisting at top colleges as STEM majors at many times the national average, and are already working in tech startups, large tech companies and across sectors. SMASH alumni bring me hope for the future of our country. Under Danielle's leadership, we plan to launch initiatives to reach hundreds of thousands of low-income students of color in the U.S. each year."

In her new role, Danielle will expand the SMASH program and product offering to prepare students of color for the future of work in STEM, while also deepening the organization's national footprint with a prioritized focus on the Northeast and Southeast regions.

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