Shanelle Smith

Ohio State Director, Trust for Public Land

Cleveland, OH

Accelerate Collaboration, Regenerate Soil & Nature  |  Community Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, Funding / Investment, Local Government

Shanelle leads energy efficiency efforts in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County by attracting investment, creating jobs, offering business support, and creating career paths in clean energy for communities of color.

Shanelle is the Deputy Director of Sustainability at Cuyahoga County where she oversees the implementation of the County’s Clean Energy Financing Hub. Her commitment to building a new economy started at Apollo Alliance, where Shanelle advocated for the continuation of the state’s Advanced Energy Fund and for the BlueGreen Alliance. Shanelle also managed the Ohio Green Manufacturing Action Plan Taskforce to create a policy plan for manufacturers. As the Director of Emerald Cities Cleveland, she organized a frank conversation about maximizing investments in Cleveland through community benefits agreements. Shanelle was named ‘One to Watch’ in 2011 by the Ohio Environmental Council, Crain’s Business top 40 under 40, and is a board member of PreTerm Ohio. Shanelle was born in Lima, Ohio, received a BA in political science from Kent State University, an MA from the University of Toledo, and currently resides in Cleveland.


  • Awarded federal grant to kick start Cleveland’s bike share program
  • Developing Sustainability Codes Toolkit around environmental issues for County’s 59 municipalities to utilize
  • Procured new electricity contract that increases renewable purchase to 75%, and saved the County $100,000 FY 2016-2017
  • Leveraged County resources to make up to $120 million in private capital available to help county constituent consumers, municipalities, institutions, and businesses save money and improve the environmental performance of buildings