The Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI) announced today that Jeffrey M. Smythe has been appointed its new executive director. An experienced nonprofit leader, Smythe officially begins September 1, taking over for Kathryn Lawler, who left ARCHI in May to join St. Joseph’s Health System/Mercy Care as CEO.
For nearly 30 years, Smythe has fought for those who are marginalized, isolated, living in poverty and/or suffering from inequities. He has served mission-driven nonprofits providing housing and hunger relief, aging and chronic disease management, HIV prevention and support, international development, refugee and foster family support, youth development, and mental health access/support. Smythe has led teams ranging from five to 140 employees, raised annual budgets up to $17 million, and built coalitions ranging from 10 to 60 partners.
“One of the hallmarks of Jeff’s leadership has been stakeholder feedback and
engagement processes. Whether for strategic planning, diversity equity and inclusion plans, or feasibility studies, Jeff has seen the power of engaging stakeholders in planning and ensuring those with lived experience have a central voice, a perfect fit for what we are trying to do here at ARCHI,” said Meredith Swartz, Interim Executive Director of ARCHI.
In his most recent leadership role with HOPE Atlanta, Smythe tackled systems change, leading several homeless-to-hotel-to-housed triage processes in partnership with ARCHI, Partners for HOME, DeKalb County, Fulton County and a broad collaboration of partners. This collaboration permanently housed more than 500 formerly unsheltered individuals, even during the earliest days of the pandemic. While leading Meals On Wheels Atlanta, Smythe introduced an innovative evidence-based chronic disease program that significantly improved health outcomes and empowerment of financially fragile older adults across Fulton County.
Smythe earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and developing world history from the University of Colorado and his master’s in public administration in nonprofit management from Georgia State University. His calling to this work stems from summer youth trips to the Navajo nation to repair homes and his volunteer year with the Harvard Institute for International Development-WorldTeach in rural Central America as a young adult.