Raised in the Rocky Mountain West, Matt Smith is committed to rural community development
and identifying how planning, design, and construction processes can positively impact small communities.

To further this work, he partnered with other rural practitioners to launch Building Common Ground, an infrastructure accelerator that aims to provide long term support to rural, remote, and Indigenous communities and their leaders. Matt is also a visiting scholar at his alma mater, Montana State University, where he teaches and researches hybrid organizations as alternative models of design practice.

Prior to his current work, Matt was managing director at MASS Design Group where he oversaw global operations from 2015 to 2023, supporting MASS’s ten-fold growth in staff and revenue while ensuring the organization remained mission focused. In 2019, he co-led the opening of MASS’s rural and Native-focused Santa Fe Studio.

Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Matt is active in his community and serves on the boards of Creative Santa Fe and Atalaya Search and Rescue, where he is also an on-call first responder working in Northern New Mexico’s backcountry. He holds a master’s in development practice from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in business management and philosophy from Montana State University.

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