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Michele Y. Smith

Michele Y. Smith

Chief Executive Officer
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

Michele Y. Smith, currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).

Smith is a mission-focused leader with extensive experience in business development, operations, and finance in the nonprofit industry.

Her people-centered leadership approach is the driving force behind her work at MoPOP which emphasizes a steadfast dedication to the democratization of philanthropy, the universal language of pop culture, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and mentorship of emerging leaders.

Prior to her role at MoPOP, Michele served as the Chief Business & Financial Officer at the award-winning cultural institution, the Woodland Park Zoo, where she played a pivotal role in navigating the organization through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her dynamic, mission-focused approach resulted in unprecedented growth across various facets of the institution, including revenue, events, guest services, admissions, automation, and finance.


Michele Y. Smith will be speaking at the Creative Museums Summit 2024:

Museums as Catalysts for Cultural Literacy 

Join CEO Michele Y. Smith of the Museum of Pop Culture as she makes the case for why the museum space needs to respond to the decrease and slashing of arts and culture education in public school systems. In this talk, Michele will outline the dangers of not teaching cultural literacy, explain how pop culture can be used as a tool for education, and demonstrate how the museum can implement various programs to ensure every student thrives in a culturally enriched environment. Be part of a movement that reshapes the future of arts and culture education. Don’t miss this inspiring talk – your chance to champion cultural literacy and understand the transformative role museums can play in bridging the educational equity gap.

Michele Y. Smith