President & CEO
Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith was appointed in March 2018 as President & CEO of the Central Park Conservancy where she oversees strategic planning, park operations, capital programming, public programming, development, and marketing and communication strategies. With the Conservancy’s 40-year restoration of Central Park now largely complete, her focus is on creating a plan that addresses the massive use of the Park while fostering continued stewardship through a commitment to financial sustainability, operational excellence and engaged governance.
Previously, Ms. Smith served on the Conservancy’s Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board of the Institute for Urban Parks, the Conservancy’s educational arm; was a former NYC Parks Assistant Commissioner in the Bloomberg Administration; and also served as a Board Member of Friends of the High Line, the Open Space Institute, and as Vice Chair of New Yorkers for Parks. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Library of America, a not-for-profit publisher of significant American writing.
Prior to joining the Bloomberg Administration, Ms. Smith had a 25-year career in finance, starting in commercial banking at J.P. Morgan before transitioning to venture capital and private equity management at Prospect Group, Inc. and at the family offices of Harry F. Oppenheimer and the Rockefeller Financial Group. She later ran client services and finance at Sotheby’s.