NACAC CEO Joyce Smith to Retire

NACAC CEO Joyce E. Smith plans to retire after 30 years of service to the association and more than 40 years in the college admission profession.

Smith will step down in summer 2020 upon successful appointment of NACAC’s next CEO.

NACAC President-elect Jayne Fonash is chairing the nationwide search for Smith’s successor, assisted by executive search firm Russell Reynolds. The position announcement, a list of search committee members, and the search timeline are forthcoming.

“It is almost impossible to cover the breadth of Joyce’s contributions to the association and profession she loves,” NACAC President Stefanie Niles said in a news release. “It’s even more difficult to convey our gratitude for her wisdom and dedication in guiding the association for almost three decades of unprecedented change.”

Smith began her NACAC career in 1991 as associate executive director, and later, acting executive director, before being named executive director (now CEO) in December 1996. She is the association’s longest-serving chief executive, with 22 years at the helm, and is the first African American woman to serve in the position.

Read more about Smith’s tenure.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s senior communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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