“I am a catalyst for a movement where everyone is a humanitarian doing what they can to leave the world a better place than they found it.”
Senior Vice President
Nichet Smith is an experienced professional with a lifelong commitment to global activism. As the Vice President of The M.A.D. Girls, Inc., Nichet oversees the organization’s operations, programming and fundraising activities.
Nichet began her professional career in the non-profit arena more than 22 years ago working for the International Foundation for Education and Self Help (IFESH), an organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. In this role, she worked closely with the organization’s founder Reverend Dr. Leon H. Sullivan. Sullivan, an international humanitarian and civil rights activist who served as an advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was instrumental in abolishing South Africa’s apartheid.
With Sullivan’s guidance, Nichet executed programs and events to promote education, sustainable living and economic growth in Africa. Her responsibilities included working with the foundation’s Teachers for Africa Program and the SOS (Support of sub-Saharan Africa Campaign). She also was one of the key organizers for the biennial, world-renowned African-African American Summit held in Dakar, Senegal and Harare, Zimbabwe. The convention attracted more than 3,000 people from around the world to explore investment opportunities in Africa.
After the passing of Sullivan in 2001, Nichet moved to Washington, D.C. to help launch the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, devoted to continuing his mission of addressing the needs of the poor and disadvantaged in Africa. As the public relations director, Nichet was responsible for creating the messaging and marketing materials to forward the foundation’s vision. She also continued her work with The Summit, which was renamed the Leon H. Sullivan Summit. As an integral part of The Summit’s advance team, Nichet collaborated with African governments to identify infrastructure and logistical needs to host a successful conference. Stateside, she successfully managed media teams in Africa and the U.S., and engaged with high-ranking political leaders including former President George W. Bush, former President William J. Clinton, Gen. Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Ambassador Andrew Young. From CNN to BBC, Nichet’s creativity combined with her public relations outreach efforts attracted major international media every year of the conference.
In July 2004, Nichet was appointed to the African Growth and Opportunities Act Action Committee, (AGOA) which was charged with providing legislation recommendations on supporting development in Africa. Together with the efforts of U2’s Bono and many Members of Congress, President George W. Bush signed AGOA legislation into law and afforded Africa the opportunity to become a stronger competitor in the global marketplace. Nichet has worked closely with the Office of the U.S. President as an advocate for economic and social justice in Africa. She has traveled extensively throughout Africa meeting with Heads of State, Ambassadors, and dignitaries as an advocate for economically-disadvantaged nations.
In 2009, Nichet returned to Arizona to where she and best friend Jodi founded The M.A.D. Girls, Inc. Together, they have developed and supported projects in Africa, the Caribbean , South America and the U.S.
A graduate of Arizona State University, Nichet holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Justice Studies with a minor in Spanish.
Other interesting facts about Nichet: A California native with a die-hard passion for sports and dance, Nichet’s endless enthusiasm and positive spirit was further cultivated in college during her time as an NFL cheerleader with the Arizona Cardinals. She is proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Her community service activities include supporting U.S. troops by participating in the USO tour throughout the U.S., Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Germany, and various projects throughout the U.S. Nichet is also co-owner of an all natural cosmetics line, Lip Niche which gives back to causes that touch her heart.
She currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her two dogs Kia and Pookie.