Jenny Kibrit Smith

Senior Director, People and Systems

Bringing to light

A seamless and supportive user experience for our most valuable asset—the UpStart team!

The basics

Jenny believes that social mission ventures are best positioned to thrive when their internal operations reflect their core values as much as their programs do. For the past nine years, she has brought a human-centered approach to the design and deployment of numerous projects and processes at UpStart and Joshua Venture Group. She served on the founding leadership team of The Collaboratory, North America’s premier gathering of Jewish innovators. There, she spearheaded a build-out of more sophisticated back-end infrastructure to support The Collaboratory’s tripling in growth in its first three years.

Prior to UpStart, Jenny worked with an innovative community mikvah, an independent social science research team, a renowned high school summer program for Jewish teens, and the Hillel at the University of Illinois.

Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Jenny holds an MBA in Social Policy and Management and an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership from Brandeis University, and a BA in International Studies and Spanish Language from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

How Jenny finds meaning and comes together with others

Breaking bread with others that nourishes bellies, souls, and communities…together with her husband and three young children, she enjoys hosting friends and family for home-cooked meals. These gatherings bring together different constellations of people for Shabbat, for holiday meals, and for testing out new recipes–particularly where grilling and (gluten-free) baking are involved.