Most Powerful Women in Banking: Andrea Smith, Bank of America

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Chief Administrative Officer

Economic mobility has always been deeply personal for Andrea Smith, the daughter of a divorced working mother who went back to college while raising three children and whose $10,000-a-year starting salary as a social worker was so low that the family of four qualified for food stamps.

So it’s fitting that finding ways to help others rise up out of poverty is one of Smith’s priorities, both at Bank of America and in the communities the bank serves.

As co-chair of the Leading on Opportunity Council, a group convened by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force to study economic mobility challenges, Smith helped create a road map to address early childhood education, workforce development, affordable housing and family stability.

Last year, she took that road map to BofA’s 91 market presidents in an effort to drive change in local communities across the United States.

“In this pandemic, it’s really working,” Smith said. “Many nonprofits are struggling to stay afloat, so one of the things the team is doing is looking at how to bring them together … to get more strength.”

Smith is now five years into her role as chief administrative officer at BofA. It’s a wide-ranging job: Along with being a member of the executive management team and adviser to Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and the board of directors, Smith has oversight of local markets, corporate real estate, brand and reputation management, marketing, crisis management and business continuity — which means she’s been one of the leaders in charge of the bank’s COVID-19 pandemic response plan.

“We have done some amazing things that I’m not sure we thought we could do,” Smith said.

For the first time, American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking celebration is open to the whole financial community. Join us virtually October 6-8 to hear our 2020 honorees' stories and experiences. Register here.

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