NICHET SMITH M.A.D. Girls
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 15 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 the Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan. Sullivan, an international humanitarian and civil rights activist served as an advisor to the Rev. 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 the Gambia, Gabon, Senegal, Johannesburg and 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 the Summit (renamed the Leon H. Sullivan Summit) and his mission of addressing the needs of the poor and disadvantaged in Africa. As the public relations director, Nichet was responsible for creating the foundation’s messaging and marketing materials. In continuing her work with the Summit, Nichet was an integral part of The Summit’s advance team, which required extensive travel to countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Nichet collaborated with African governments, dignitaries, ambassadors and other Heads of State 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 and attracted over 20,000 participants.
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 and continues to be an advocate for economically disadvantaged nations.
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 a 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.
In 2014, Nichet launched an all-natural lip gloss line, Lip Niche. Each color represents a cause she cares about with the ultimate goal being to give back to those causes.