Robert Smith, MS
Community Liaison for the Des Moines Service Area of the Iowa Department of Human Services
Robert is a recent newcomer to Des Moines, Iowa. A native of Maryland (hence his love of seafood), he previously lived on the Eastern Shore and in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. Prior to relocating to Des Moines, Robert navigated professional roles with Baltimore City Public Schools, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Sasha Bruce Youthwork, and the National African American Drug Policy Coalition. Currently, he serves as the community liaison for the 15 county-Des Moines Service Area of the Iowa Department of Human Services. His focal areas of interest include adolescent health/well-being, economic/community sustainability, resource allocation, and workforce readiness, and his technical skills include grant review/writing, positive youth development, procurement, and nonprofit program management.
Robert believes that health equity exists within a space that intersects credible messengers, informational literacy, and historical/cultural responsiveness. Notable influences on his lens and work include Frederick Douglass, Frantz Fanon, Paul Gilroy, Jamaica Kincaid, Stuart Hall, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Booker T. Washington. In his spare time, Robert enjoys various podcasts, books, R&B music, plant cultivation, and sudoku.