Lamont Smith is a born-and-raised resident of Milwaukee, with over a decades’-worth of experience working in the city's non-profit and public policies sectors. Currently, Lamont serves as the Milwaukee Program Manager for the Wisconsin chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where his work span all-levels of Milwaukee's civic landscape, forging partnerships that support, amplify, and add momentum to local efforts to decrease climate vulnerability and achieve environmental justice. Under his leadership, the Milwaukee Program emphasizes activating everyday residents to get involved in environmental conservation efforts in ways that are meaningful to their communities and as a critical pathway to climate resilience.
The Milwaukee Program's early projects include supporting neighborhood-based efforts to replenish Milwaukee's tree canopy, increasing green stormwater infrastructure, and naturalizing portions of Milwaukee's under-used land. Lamont's efforts aim to make Milwaukee a national leader in urban conservation and environmental justice.
Lamont is a self-styled stagnation-breaker and social innovation practitioner. The product of two-working class parents and a small village of committed African-American wayfinders, Lamont credits much of his present-day success to the generous gift of time and wisdom that these unsung community stewards gave to aid him in developing a strong sense of purpose and sense of self that is the foundation of his life today. Lamont draws on a host of expertise in program design and implementation, evaluation and performance management, collaborative strategies, and social justice practices to make the Milwaukee Program reach its goals and make a difference in the Milwaukee community.
Early in his professional path, Lamont excelled in project-based consulting experiences, where he managed a cross-sector partnership project to improve career pathways in high-growth emerging industries with support from the Corporation for National Community Service's Social Innovation Fund. Among many innovative practices demonstrated in this project, Lamont played a pivotal role in facilitating key actors in industry, higher education, and community-based training programs to develop new opportunities for early career and experienced workers to use "green technologies" in building trades and automotive maintenance.
More recently, Lamont served in a civic engagement role at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation until his move to TNC in 2021. His work at the foundation centered on developing approaches to equity-focused organizational capacity building, public policy advocacy, and promoting innovative economic development strategies focused on growing local small and medium-scale manufacturing enterprises.
Lamont holds a BA from University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Masters of Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs. In 2021, Lamont was recognized by Madison365 as one of "Milwaukee's 48 Most Influential Black Leaders" and was honored with Nearby Nature's African-American Environmental Pioneer Award.