Deirdre Joy Smith


Deirdre Joy Smith is the founder, CEO and visionary behind POWER: Opening Doors for Women®. She has received numerous awards including the Chicago Foundation for Women Impact Award, the “Women on the Rise” Award, and the “Women Making History” Award.

Prior to founding POWER, Deirdre was the Midwest Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee. She subsequently became principal of DJS Consulting LLC, a political and nonprofit fundraising firm. Deirdre has lived and worked abroad in the Netherlands and Turkey. Her career has included domestic and international trade experience at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. She has also worked with Women in International Security (WIIS), a nonprofit organization at the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Affairs.

Deirdre is on the Board of Trustees for WTTW, Chicago’s local Public Broadcasting Service television station. She is a board member of the Thirty Percent Coalition, a national organization committed to the goal of women holding 30% of board seats across public companies. Deirdre is a former board and executive committee member for the Chicago Foundation for Women, Working in the Schools, and Athena International.

In 2011, Deirdre graduated from KPMG’s Executive Leadership Institute for Women, a program for senior level executives. Deirdre received a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and has studied at the London School of Economics and Obirin University in Machida, Japan.