A visionary leader, Kim Smolik, Ed.D, took the helm of Franciscan Mission Service in 2009 as the organization’s Executive Director.

In the last five years, FMS has grown tremendously under Kim’s leadership. This is a result of her deep passion for the mission of the organization, which led her to find new and successful ways to grow FMS’ base of support. Kim has spearheaded innovative fundraising and cost-saving strategies, at the height of the economic recession, which led to a 175% increase in FMS’s net income within her first two years. Today, FMS is a fiscally healthy organization with a budget that is nearly three times as large as when Kim began her tenure. Kim has increased FMS’s grant funding fivefold and driven the development of its Board of Directors by engaging community leaders who offer diverse areas of expertise, including communications, education, legal, and business.

In addition, while at FMS, Kim has forged strong ties between FMS and Franciscan constituencies domestically and internationally, and has been a featured speaker at various Catholic gatherings in the United States and abroad. This includes serving as a national conference facilitator for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC and facilitating the national conference of Catholic Volunteer Network, on whose executive board she served from 2006-2012. Kim has also given several keynote addresses, including one on the Millennials in the Catholic Church to the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, an organization serving the leadership of Catholic orders and congregations of the more than 17,000 priests and brothers in the United States.

With an increased funding base, more visibility, new partnerships, and sound fiscal policies in place, Kim has founded several vibrant programs at FMS, particularly the Nonprofit Servant Leadership Program that offers young adults the opportunity to give back as they develop their leadership and nonprofit management skills during one year of full-time service in Washington, DC. She has also developed program sites in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Guatemala, and Jamaica.

Before arriving at FMS, Kim had developed a solid track record of success in the strategic oversight of interfaith-based nonprofit operations. For her efforts, she was awarded a highly competitive Leadership Fellowship with the Archibald Bush Foundation. As a Bush Fellow, Kim worked and studied with leaders taking creative approaches to spark change and address conflict around the world. Prior to her Bush Fellowship, Kim was the Director of the Volunteer Corps and Community Service-Learning Programs at Catholic Charities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Within this large and complex organization, Kim initiated and expanded agency-wide programs, as well as served as a leader in the poverty education and racial justice initiatives.

Throughout her career, Kim has proven to be a dynamic and committed advocate for social and racial justice, community service, and poverty relief. She also has extensive cross-cultural expertise, having taught high school, college, and adult social justice advocacy programs in Cuba, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexico. She has worked and traveled to over 45 countries.

Kim received her Doctorate of Education from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. Her dissertation research focused on racial justice in the workplace, adult transformational engagement, and organizational development. She has an MA in Cross-Cultural Education from the University of Alabama, and a BA in History and Education from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. Named Rising Leader of the Year by the National Society for Experiential Education in 2006, she is also a Certified Intercultural Development Inventory Administrator, a trained leadership coach, and an experienced facilitator in diversity and racial justice trainings. She has secured competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute and the Minnesota Humanities Commission.

In her spare time, Kim can be found in the kitchen where she lets her creative spirit shine. She loves to cook, photograph, and share nourishing food. She has traveled both domestically and internationally to bring her special knack for building community around the dinner table.

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