Shellee Smith

Shellee Smith is the executive director of the USC Center for Third Space Thinking and Executive Education at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

At the Center, she leads a team of professionals that has developed a new, communication-driven methodology to help organizations frame and solve complex problems.

She also manages Annenberg’s executive education programs with the World Bank, the China Research Development Foundation, Shanghai Media Group, Jiangsu Broadcasting and other U.S. companies.

Shellee is an experienced management and communication consultant. Before joining USC, she headed an international consulting firm for six years that provided expertise in executive coaching, strategic communication, crisis management, media relations and digital storytelling.

Throughout her career, Shellee has worked on both sides of the microphone, as an award-winning newscaster and a company spokesperson. She served as the director of communications for Zecco Holdings Inc., an online investment firm. She was recruited to lead the corporate communications function, reporting directly to the CEO. She helped launch the company on Wall Street, securing interviews with financial media, providing media training for senior executives and acting as the company spokesperson.

Prior to joining Zecco, Shellee was a national correspondent for NBC News based in Los Angeles, London, and Tel Aviv. She covered breaking news stories and in-depth features for the Today Show, Nightly News, MSNBC and CNBC, reporting on national and international stories. Before joining NBC News, Shellee supervised a nationally recognized investigative team in Detroit where she reported and produced award-winning investigative stories and documentaries.

Shellee has garnered the most prestigious awards in broadcast journalism, including seven Emmys, the Alfred duPont Columbia University Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, an Iris Award, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award. She was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show as one of the top investigative reporters in the country.

Shellee earned two bachelor degrees in journalism and German Area Studies from the University of Missouri in Columbia. She also studied German at Trier University in Germany. She earned an Executive MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business.