Leo Smith - Steans Family Foundation

Leo Smith


Leo serves as Director of Policy at Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Destiny).  When he first joined CRED in October of 2016, Leo designed and implemented Chicago CRED’s educational programs. Starting in 2018, he led CRED’s employment, training, and job placement efforts for more than two years. Prior to joining Chicago CRED, Leo taught Reading, History, and Civics in middle and high schools for ten years. Leo brings a wealth of practical knowledge to his current work from former roles as a lawyer, children’s advocate, businessperson, and Chief Financial Officer with Start Early.

Leo tends to ask for forgiveness more than permission in his work.  He strives to represent community resident perspectives, and knows building community leadership is the most direct way to transformative justice.

Leo is a Midwesterner through and through and only yearns for it to have better hills for mountain biking.  Leo lives in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago with his wife Heather Steans, kids, and dogs.