Eugene Smith Fund elects new president and executive committee

Scott Thode

The Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced its election of a new president and executive committee, along with three new board members. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Scott Thode will become President of the Smith Fund, replacing Phillip Block who held the position for four years. Block will remain a member of The Fund’s Board of Trustees. Thode, who joined the Smith Fund in 2018, is an independent curator, editor, photographer, and instructor at the International Center of Photography.

The board of trustees also announced several new appointments to its executive committee including, Marcia Allert, Managing Photo Producer at Apple, appointed to Vice President; Elizabeth Krist, founding member of the Visual Thinking Collective and former Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic, to Secretary; and Michelle Dunn Marsh, Co-founder and Publisher at Minor Matters Books, to Treasurer.

Dunn Marsh joins the executive committee as a new board member, along with Noelle Flores Théard, senior digital photo editor at The New Yorker, and John Fleetwood, director of Photo, a platform that develops and promotes photographers and their projects, are the newest members of The Fund’s board of trustees.

The new appointees will join current Smith Fund Board of Trustee members including Block (past president), Lou Desiderio, Kris Graves, Aidan Sullivan, Leandro Villaro, Lauren Wendle (past president), and Daniella Zalcman. David B. Wolf will remain as The Fund’s legal counsel.

Scott Thode

“It’s a tremendous honor to be taking on the Presidency of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund,” said Thode, who noted that he has big shoes to fill. “Phil Block has done an incredible job leading us, especially over the last two years as we made important changes in the board’s structure and how we allocated funds to help more photographers during Covid. I’m looking forward to seeing the fund make an even greater impact on the field of visual storytelling.”

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant is presented annually to photographers whose work is judged by a panel of experts to be in the best tradition of the documentary photographic practice exhibited by W. Eugene Smith during his 45-year career in photojournalism. Since the Fund’s inception in 1979, it has awarded over $1 million to photographers whose past work and proposed projects follow the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s career as a photographic essayist.

The 2022 Smith Grant, Smith Student Grant, and Howard Chapnick Grant will be open for entries beginning Jan. 15, 2022.