Pepperdine Board of Regents Elects First Female Chair

Dee Anna Smith

Pepperdine named Dee Anna Smith chair of the Pepperdine University Board of Regents during its annual meeting on Tuesday, June 11.

Smith is the first woman to occupy the position as well as the first Pepperdine graduate to chair the board.

A member since 2014, Smith has been connected to Pepperdine for more than 30 years.

“I am thrilled that Dee Anna Smith will be lending her unique perspective and extraordinary skills to help shape and direct the policies of the University,” Jim Gash, president-elect of Pepperdine, said, per a statement shared by Pepperdine. “I look forward to partnering with her on accelerating Pepperdine’s ascension to the next level in higher education.”

As chair, Smith will be responsible for guiding the board to strategically advance the progress of the university. She will also help lead the university in generating financial resources to foster academic excellence in all students.

“I am both proud and honored to serve my alma mater in this important capacity,” Smith said during the Board of Regents meeting. “Pepperdine indelibly impacted my academic and spiritual development as a student. I am inspired by the opportunity to support the next generation of Waves as we begin a new chapter in Pepperdine’s history.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pepperdine in 1986, Smith began her career as an auditor and certified public accountant with KPMG.

According to the press release in 2006, Smith was appointed CEO of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare.

Smith also founded two companies that focused on clinical trial services. The first company was with Oracle and the second was a part of Sarah Cannon’s research.  

In addition, Smith serves on the board of directors for the Nashville Health Care Council and as board chair of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Smith was also the recipient of the Seaver College 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award.