Versell Smith: Chief Strategy Officer

Versell Smith Jr

Chicago, IL — Versell Smith, Jr., has been named to the newly-created role of Chief Strategy Officer for Chicago House, an agency providing individuals and families affected by HIV with services to help lead their lives with safety and dignity.

Smith brings deep experience in community-based organizations and a strong commitment to advancing equitable health for the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. His background in transforming programs to mitigate racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare will enhance Chicago House’s efforts to be the leading housing provider for communities most impacted by HIV.

As Chief Strategy Officer, Smith will lead resource development and program innovation to grow Chicago House’s visibility, footprint, and impact in Chicago. He will also oversee fundraising strategy to expand the agency’s client-centered work, especially in communities of color, and build key collaborative networks and partnerships. Most recently, Smith served as Executive Director of Corner Health Center, Michigan’s first school-based child and adolescent health clinic. In this role, he led an organizational transformation, taking the organization’s finances from red to black, revitalizing the workforce, launching a gender affirming clinic, intensifying community outreach, and enhancing the patient experience.

Founded in 1985 by a group of activists during the height of the AIDS crisis, Chicago House initially served as a housing resource, and in most cases a hospice, for those living with HIV/AIDS. Today, the organization empowers people living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS through four mission-critical pillars of housing, health, employment support and the Translife Care program. Serving more than 2,000 individuals in Chicago, its ultimate goal, notably through its “Getting to Zero” campaign, is to help achieve the end of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago and the rest of Illinois. For more information, visit