Anna Deavere Smith
Actress; Playwright; University Professor, New York University Tisch School of the Arts; Trustee, The Aspen Institute
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, and a university professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is said to have created a new form of theater. Smith’s most recent play, Notes From the Field, explores issues of American justice and opportunity through the lens of education. Her television work includes “For the People,” “The West Wing,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “Black-ish”; film work includes The American President, Rachel Getting Married, and Philadelphia. Smith has been honored with the National Humanities Medal, the MacArthur Award, a George Polk Award in Journalism, The Ridenhour Courage Prize, and the Dean’s Medal from the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a trustee of the Aspen Institute.