Diversity Woman

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Carmen Smith

Vice President of Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering



As Vice President of Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, Carmen is responsible for developing a diverse pipeline of product and people to enhance Imagineering’s consultant talent and its creative processes. Her four areas of primary emphasis: creative product and services development, consultant talent identification, casting talent to the full range of creative assignments, editorial participation in the creative process and the establishment of external partnerships to enhance product relevance in the diverse global marketplace.

Carmen served as Vice President of Global Strategies for Diversity and Inclusion for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. She was responsible for integrating diversity and inclusion strategies into creative entertainment World-Wide, Global development and all Walt Disney Park Operations and businesses.

Prior to joining Disney Theme Parks and Resorts World-Wide, Carmen served as the Vice President of the Talent Development Programs for the Disney/ABC Television Group. In this position she was responsible for overseeing and managing the Disney/ABC Writers Fellowship Program and Writers Breakage Initiatives; the ABC/DGA Directors Fellowship Program; the Touchstone/DGA Partnership; the Directing Assignment Initiative; the Casting Project; the Talent Development Scholarship/Grant Program for filmmakers, writers and directors; the Entertainment Associates Program; ABC/Disney Writer-Director Summer Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Institute of American Indian Arts; the American Indian National Center for Television and Film and she executive-produced the Micro-Mini Television Series Project. She also functioned as a liaison with diverse creative communities around the country, non-profit arts institutions, entertainment industry guilds, colleges and universities to nurture talented, emerging writers, actors and directors.

In 2007, Ms. Smith received an Honorary Doctorate from the Metropolitan College of New York. Ms. Smith serves on the board of the Urban Resource Institute and the Robey Theatre. She is a current member of the advisory board of the Urban Women’s Retreat. She was a presenter at the United Nations’ Fourth Non-Governmental Forum on Women in Beijing, China. She was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Alumni of Hunter College of the City University of New York; she received the Urban Resource Institute Certificate for Outstanding Leadership; the Great Seal of the State of New York for Community Service; recognition from the Doors of Hope Foundation for outstanding service to Battered Women;

Ms. Smith was selected as the ABC, Inc. Black Achiever in Industry for 2000; received the 2001 John D. Blodger Diversity Award and the 2003 AFTRA National American Scene Award ( Crystal Award), was a 2004 AFTRA, Actors’ Equity and SAG Diversity Honoree; received the 2004 Oneness award for promoting diversity in Television and film and received the Directors Guild of American African-American Steering committee award for outstanding efforts to elevate the stature of women and minorities in the entertainment industry; 2005 AFTRA National Scene award as Executive Producer of the ABC Entertainment Micro-Mini TV Series and the 2005 Theresa’s Haven Award from the Family Support Systems Transitional Housing Services of New York, for improving the quality of life for homeless families in New York and received the Institute of American Indian Arts 2006 Visionary Award. Most recently she was honored with the Frances E. Williams Award by the Community Coalition of Los Angeles; 2009 recipient of the Our Authors Study Club- Pat Tobin Award of excellence; the 2009 DiversityBusiness.com Champion of Diversity Award; the recipient of the 2009 DiversityFirst award winner from the California Diversity Council: listed in 2009 Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Executive Leaders and 2011 Uptown Professional Magazines Top 100 Executives in America.

A native of New York, Ms. Smith graduated from Hunter College with a degree in communication arts. She received her Masters in international administration from New York University, completed the Simmons Graduate School of Management Certificate Program for Developing Managers and Harvard University Women and Power Executive Education Program at John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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