New Carnegie Corporation Trustee
Carnegie Corporation of New York announced today the election of Raymond W. Smith, chairman of Bell Atlantic Venture Fund and until December 1998 chairman of Bell Atlantic, to its board of trustees.
Smith is widely viewed within the business and nonprofit communities, respectively, as one of the top corporate executives in the nation and as a leader in civic, charitable, and cultural organizations. He was named "CEO of the Year" by CNBC and "Top Manager" by BusinessWeek magazine. The Harvard Business Review recognized him as a pioneer in the telecommunications industy and in the transformation of corporate cultures. Long a supporter of civil rights and an outspoken activist against "cyberhate," Smith was the first recipient of the Mickey Leland Award for Diversity in Telecommunications. Most recently he was honored by the NAACP for his long service to equal opportunity.
In his comments about the election, the Corporation’s president, Vartan Gregorian, said, "I have known Ray Smith for two decades. He is that rare American corporate executive who combines leadership in the business world with devotion to the public good. A person of wit and charm, with a passionate interest in education, literature, the arts, and history, he is the kind of trustee Carnegie Corporation is accustomed to attracting. We stand to benefit greatly from his experience, knowledge, and insight."
Smith joined Bell Atlantic in 1984 when the company was divested from AT&T. Before that he worked many years for the Bell system in Pennsylvania, rising through the executive ranks. In 1985 he was appointed vice chairman and chief financial officer of Bell Atlantic and in 1988 its president and chief operating officer. He became chairman and CEO of Bell Atlantic in 1989. In his term as chairman, Smith transformed the company from a regional telephone operation into the largest company of its kind in the world. With the acquisition of NYNEX in 1997 and then the merger with GTE, Bell Atlantic became a global corporation and 17th of the top 200 companies in the creation of wealth for its shareholders.
As a member of the board of directors of CBS Corporation, First Union Corporation, US Airways, Inc.. Lincoln Center, and Carnegie-Mellon University, Smith has also served on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the National Forum on Education and Technology. He serves on the advisory boards of the House of Representatives for Renewing U.S. Science Policy and the Library of Congress.
Smith was born in Pittsburgh in 1937, receiving a B.S. degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1959 and an M.B.A from the University of Pittsburgh in 1967. From 1969 to 1970 he was in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army. He joined Bell of Pennsylvania in 1959, remaining there until 1976 when he went to AT&T for two years. Rejoining the Bell system in 1977, he became its president and chief executive officer in 1983. In Philadelphia, where he was based during his tenure with the regional Bell and the Bell Atlantic Corporation, he was active in local arts, cultural, and civic activities and is a published playwright.
Carnegie Corporation of New York is a grantmaking foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "for the advancement of knowledge and understanding." Its current budget for grants in fiscal year 1999 is $60 million; the assets at market value are approximately $1.55 billion.