Lora Smith

Lora Smith

Lora Smith is Director of the Philanthropic Capital Fund for Southeast Kentucky (PhilCap Fund) anchored at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky in Hazard, KY. The PhilCap Fund supports economic opportunity in Eastern Kentucky through grantmaking and place-based investments in real estate and small business. Previously, Smith served as the Network Officer for Central Appalachia at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation where she directed the Foundation’s strategic grantmaking in the region.
Lora holds a B.A. in Individualized Studies from New York University where she graduated magna cum laude and received the Founder’s Day Award. She also studied ethnography, folklore and documentary as a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Smith is a steering committee member of the Appalachia Funders Network (AFN), a network of investors focused on the shared goal of an equitable Appalachian economic transition, and co-chairs AFN’s Food and Agriculture Systems Working Group.
Smith is a former Southeast Council of Foundations (SECF) Hull Fellow, a fellowship program that recognizes and supports promising young leaders in philanthropy, and in 2015 received the Southern Foodways Alliance’s John Egerton Prize for her work as an advocate for the Appalachian region.
Lora happily lives and works from Big Switch Farm in Egypt, KY, her family’s certified organic farm, where she and her husband keep bees, produce mountain heirloom corn, beans, tomatoes and apples, and raise their two children.