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Board & Leadership

Who We Are

Russell A. Smith, LMSW

Russell A. Smith, LMSW, joined Refugee Services of Texas in July 2018 as CEO. 

Russell is a non-profit leader with almost thirty years of experience running non-profit and governmental organizations in Houston and Austin, including five and a half years running a Head Start program in Houston that served over 1,100 children and their families. He has worked across the age spectrum, from early childhood to school reform to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Most recently, Russell was the Executive Director of Austin Child Guidance Center for almost eight years.

Russell holds both Bachelor's and Master’s degree in Business from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston. He inherited his passion for working in the public sector from his grandmother, Bert Kruger Smith, an Austin icon who was active in philanthropy for over fifty years.

Russell has held many volunteer positions, including two terms on the board of the Austin Groups for the Elderly, the organization his grandmother started 35 years ago, and teaches classes at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas on grant writing / fund development and on financial management for non-profits. With two colleagues, he developed and teaches continuing education classes on a variety of non-profit leadership topics.