Meet Our New Leadership

Jennifer Bires, Executive Director

Jennifer Bires – Executive Director

Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, will be our next Executive Director. In this position, Jennifer will provide overall leadership for Smith Center steering us into the future and building on the tremendous foundation of the last 21 years. Joining Jennifer is Julia Rowland, Ph.D. Julia will take on the part-time role of Senior Strategic Advisor and in this position she will engage with Jennifer in helping set the strategic direction for the organization moving forward, and in raising funds to achieve those goals.

Jennifer is a rising star in the psycho-oncology field. She comes to this position with almost a decade of experience as an oncology social worker, most recently at George Washington University in DC where she helped create the cancer support program. During her tenure at GWU she created a number of deep and impactful programs for families, young adults and patients and helped to ensure program success by defining and tracking outcomes. Jennifer received the 2017 Oncology Social Worker of The Year Award from the Association of Oncology Social Workers.

Moreover, Jennifer has been a longtime partner with Smith Center. She facilitates the young adult cancer support group as well as a general cancer support group for the Smith Center community. Jennifer has intimate knowledge of the DC cancer survivorship landscape and deep appreciation for Smith Center’s unique art and healing approach to this important work.

Julia Rowland, Executive Director

Julia Rowland – Senior Strategic Advisor

Julia Rowland, comes to Smith Center after a long and distinguished career, most recently as Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Julia’s many accomplishments include co-editing with Dr. Jimmie Holland the first Handbook of Psycho-oncology, creating the first ever cancer survivorship program at Memorial Sloan Kettering and serving as Associate Professor and Director of Psycho-Oncology Research at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine. She brings skills as a national and international scholar, researcher and leader in the psychosocial aspects of cancer care broadly and cancer survivorship specifically, with an in-depth knowledge of the data and trends affecting these fields from across the country.

Julia also knew and loved Barbara Smith Coleman. She has worked closely with Michael to advance our understanding of the psychological and behavioral impact of cancer on patients and families over the last 30 years, and has been a close partner with Smith Center in facilitating our cancer retreats, providing workshops and offering trainings since we opened our doors 21 years ago.

Download & Share Press Release and Welcome Letter

We hope you will join us in welcoming Jennifer and Julia. While we can never replace Shanti, we are thrilled that these two talented healers and advocates have decided to make Smith Center their next professional home. Shanti is delighted as well!

A welcome reception is being planned for the early fall. Please watch your emails for more information. If you have any questions or would like additional information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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