Nancy Smith’s passions are for social and economic justice, self-expression and connecting with people.

Nancy works as a program manager and scrum master at NVIDIA Corp, the world leader in visual computing technologies. While she loves working in high-tech, she also welcomes the flexibility her career affords to pursue opportunities to better her community whether through elected or appointed office or by joining non-profit boards. 

Nancy Smith was elected to the Sunnyvale City Council in November 2016 and finished out her term serving as Vice Mayor in 2020. She represented the City through the following agencies:

  • Water Commission of Valley Water
  • Caltrain Modernization Local Policy Makers Group
  • Vice Chair of the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority
  • Vice Chair of the Recycling and Waste Reduction Committee for the County of Santa Clara
  • League of California Cities Housing Production Working Group 
  • Treasurer for the League’s Peninsula Division

She focuses on developing women in leadership, leading as president the League of California Cities Women’s Caucus, an organization dedicated to supporting over 800 elected women in municipal leadership in the state of California to build their networks and influence. Serving as president in such a momentous year as the 100th anniversary of the women gaining suffrage in the United States is an honor she cherishes. Since leaving office, she continued by joining the League of Women Voters Cupertino-Sunnyvale as program chair.SharingIdeas

One of the most transformative experiences for her were the five years she spent on the executive committee of the Board of North Dallas Shared Ministries, an organization that provided emergency food and rental assistance. While acting as Advocacy Chair, she headed up letter-writing campaigns to push for policies at the city, county, state and federal levels to provide fair and equitable treatment of low-income people. The executive director of NDSM impressed upon her the importance of setting cultural norms for how organizations treat their clients, inspiring her with how well his message of how volunteers should “err on the side of grace” when working with clients stuck with everyone who worked at the ministry.

Her interest in serving on governing bodies grows from her interest in corporate social responsibility and the way corporations act in areas where they do business. She created Virtuous Corporation™ method as a way to help people in corporations live up to the ideals of their stakeholders. This site discusses progress on her book on the subject.

Nancy grew up in Illinois and in 1986 earned her BA in Mathematics from Olivet Nazarene University. After a brief sojourn with an actuarial company, she launched her career as an executive in a biomedical imaging firm in Dallas. Since moving to California, she helped found the Third Street Community Center in downtown San Jose, where children and families find educational programs and enrichment opportunities. For the adult-learners computer class there, Nancy developed the curriculum that taught basic computer skills. She also ran a program that gave computers to graduates of the program. She was interim director while the organization conducted a candidate search.

To build her breadth of influence, she applied for and was accepted for Leadership Sunnyvale, class of 1999-2000. After graduating, she led the City of Sunnyvale Housing and Community Services Commission. After that, she was appointed to the Board of the County of Santa Clara Housing and Community Development Commission and, later to the Valley Water Environmental and Water Resources Commission, where, during her time as Chair, she set up an innovative system of independent working groups to enabled commissioners to explore policy issues and community concerns. These independent working groups brought policy gaps to the attention of the Valley Water Board. Her proudest achievement there was the “Policies for Addressing Homeless Pollution of Streams.” that address the issue homeless people living along streams humanely were included in 2016’s Measure A initiative that passed, bringing long needed resources to the housing crisis.

1915881_970796446321970_1298103872380574426_nShe joined Rotary in 2006. Nancy served as President of the Sunnyvale Rotary Club from 2011 to 2012. Under her leadership, the Rotary-sponsored youth club at Homestead High School grew from 40 to over 200 members. She remains an active Rotary member to this day, and enjoys sharing updates during the monthly club luncheons.

In 2016, She volunteered with the Department of Engineering at Santa Clara University to develop curriculum for the Experiential Learning for Social Justice track to connect engineers-in-training with non-profit organizations helping low-income students, help them to overcome disadvantages and educational opportunity gaps. 

Nancy and her husband Wade enjoy spending time walking around Ponderosa Park together every morning. He started out as a medical researcher, but now works as a hardware designer for computer chips. They recently bought their own pairs of ice skates in anticipation of the return of a winter ice rink to downtown Sunnyvale.

Contact Nancy at 408-455-8672 or