Marcia Smith


Marcia Smith served as President of Firelight Media for most of its first decade. During her tenure, Firelight produced over 18 hours of film for national broadcast on PBS, and garnered every major award in television, including multiple Primetime Emmy, Peabody, Sundance, DuPont, and International Documentary Association (IDA) awards.

From 2008 to 2011, she was Senior Vice President at The Atlantic Philanthropies, a charitable foundation active in the United States, Ireland, South Africa, Viet Nam, Australia, Cuba, and Bermuda. Smith was responsible for leading all grant making programs and managing all program staff globally as well as Atlantic’s evaluation and strategic learning initiatives. During her tenure, Atlantic developed and adopted an overarching social justice framework for all of its grant making, and restructured program staff to achieve greater impact and accountability.

She has written numerous films for PBS, including Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind and The Murder of Emmett Till for the flagship series American Experience, and Beyond Brown and Running: The Campaign for City Council for WNET. She has also written a documentary on OJ Simpson for HBO Sports, and the acclaimed book, Black America: A Journey in Photographs, published by Thunder Bay Press. She received the award for Best Nonfiction Writing from the Writers’ Guild of America, and a PrimeTime Emmy nomination, for Emmett Till.