Former Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith has been named president and CEO of the national non-profit Reconnecting America. He has served on Reconnecting America’s board for five years, and was a founding partner and board member of Reconnecting America’s predecessor organization, the Great American Station Foundation, voting to expand its mission and change its name in 2004.
Smith was elected mayor of Meridian in 1993 and was re-elected three times before deciding this year not to seek re-election to a fifth term. He has been an active member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and has served Amtrak as both chairman and as a board member.
He will replace Shelley Poticha, who has been appointed senior advisor for sustainable communities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.