Nathaniel Smith

Founder & Chief Equity Officer, Partnership for Southern Equity

Atlanta, GA

Accelerate Collaboration, Co-Create Policy, Prioritize Equity  |  Advocacy, Community Economic Development

Nathaniel fosters an ecosystem of funders, anchor institutions, government, and others to shift perceptions and policy toward a more equitable economy for vulnerable communities of color.

Nathaniel is the Founder and Chief Equity Officer of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Partnership for Southern Equity. Before this role Mr. Smith served as Director of Partnerships and Research for Equitable Development at Emory University. His many acknowledgments include: National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED) Emerging Leaders Program; Outstanding Young Person of Atlanta Award in; Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 under 40 list in (cover); Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Up and Comers” List in; Who’s Who in Black Atlanta publication as a “Champion of Diversity and Inclusion” and the Atlanta Business League as a “Man of Influence.”; Georgia Academy for Economic Development; and German Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) respectively, and 2012 Aspen Seminar. He holds a BA in Urban Studies from Morehouse College and received his MS degree from the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy at the New School. Nathaniel was born and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.


  • Led organizing to expand public transportation in new county, which was the first expansion in more than 40 years.
  • Created the first Equity Mapping and Issue Framing tool in the South: the Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas
  • Advocate and support development of Equitable Development Plan for Atlanta BeltLine
  • Key driver of the Equity and Shared Prosperity Agenda in Metro Atlanta
  • Organized the Just Opportunity Circlean economic inclusion coalition in Metro Atlanta