Dawnell Smith is the newest member of the Trustees’ team. Her position as Communications Director will focus on sharing the Trustees’ work, telling the stories and perspectives of Alaskans and Alaska communities, and informing others about our work to safeguard the health of the state’s land, water, wildlife and communities.
Dawnell comes to Trustees with decades of experience in journalism, publishing, nonprofit administration and government. She has produced hundreds of news articles, blogs and public service announcements; and she has helped create dozens of media campaigns and web pages.
She feels honored and excited to work for Trustees, and sees the work to protect the Alaska’s environment and communities a vital story for everyone to know.
Like many Alaskans, she came to the state as a traveler, but made it her base camp the moment she stepped off the train in Denali National Park on a cold March day in 1988. Since then, she has spent her non-working hours hiking, biking, paddling, running, exploring the state, going to music festivals, experiencing art, and bumping into Alaska characters and wildlife.
After making Anchorage her home, Dawnell trained and worked in craft brewing and wrote a beer column for the Anchorage Daily News, where she later took a job as a staff reporter. Over the past decade, she has coordinated and participated in multiple art events, played roller derby, earned a master’s degree in creative writing and literary arts, and seen two Alaska-grown kids turn into characters of their own.
When not in the office, she runs with dogs, skates on trails, gets into misadventures with her family, and makes poems, essays, short stories and art.