Brad D. Smith

President of Marshall University, Co-Founder of the Wing 2 Wing Foundation and former executive leader. Powering possibility and leveling the playing field through education, entrepreneurship and equal opportunity.


While most people know of Brad D. Smith from his time spent as Intuit’s CEO and later executive chairman, his most recent work is rooted in academia and philanthropy. A proud West Virginia native with a passion for leadership and driving positive change, Brad is serving his home state as the President of Marshall University and the Co-Founder of the Wing 2 Wing Foundation. In both roles he is working to create and provide entrepreneurial support and guidance for young and aspiring business leaders from lesser-known zip codes.

Marshall University

Brad graduated from Marshall University in 1986 and has since remained an active member of the Marshall community. In 2021, Brad was unanimously selected to be the institution’s 38th president during a Board of Governors meeting. Brad’s ultimate goal as the university’s leader is to leverage the school as a great equalizer, transforming obstacles into potential and possibility.

Prior to his current appointment, Brad proactively sought out ways to support the school over the years. In 2015, Brad and his wife, Alys, established the Brad D. and Alys Smith Family Scholarship, and in 2018 the couple made a transformational gift to the university’s college of business.


Brad and his wife Alys are both passionate about uplifting the place that Brad has always known as home: the state of West Virginia. It is what drove Brad to pursue his role at Marshall University and what inspired the couple to found their own nonprofit organization. In 2019 the Wing 2 Wing Foundation was created to advance the great equalizers of education and entrepreneurship in regions where individuals and communities have been overlooked and underserved. In doing so, they strive to champion human dignity and unleash human potential.

“Talent is dispersed equally, but opportunity is not,” Brad often says. 

Through the same compassionate leadership and passion for giving back, Brad and Alys seek to live by their favorite quote: “We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

Explore The Wing 2 Wing Foundation here.

Executive Leadership

Much of Brad’s leadership career was defined by his time at Intuit. While he held several leadership positions at Intuit during his 19-year tenure, the majority of his time was spent as the company’s CEO and, finally, Executive Chairman. Brad is credited with having transformed the company from a North American desktop company to a global cloud product and platform company that offers household name services like QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint. Through his decade plus of transformative service, Brad retained and fostered the company’s core values and character that placed it on “Best Places to Work” lists year after year. Learn more about his leadership lessons and tenure as an executive leader.

Recent Articles and News

Celebrating Two Years of Ascend West Virginia


In 2021, Brad D. Smith and his wife Alys launched the Ascend West Virginia remote worker incentive program through their Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative (OEDC). As a West Virginia native with a lifelong passion for giving back to his home state, Brad was inspired to create an initiative that would share the wonder of West Virginia with those living beyond its borders and entice more individuals to call it home. Two years have passed since the launch of Ascend, and in that time, the program has experienced overwhelming success and momentum for the future.

Read Article

Amazon Appoints Brad D. Smith to Its Board of Directors


On September 13, 2023, online retailer Amazon announced its appointment of Brad D. Smith to its board of directors. Brad joins the board as a member of the Audit Committee and his appointment marks him as the board’s twelfth member. In the announcements, Brad is noted for his diverse and extensive experiences as an executive leader.

Read Article

University Presidents Brad D. Smith and Gordon Gee Announce First Ascent Program for Graduates


The 2023 West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Business Summit featured the announcement of First Ascent — a program developed through Ascend West Virginia — by Brad D. Smith and Gordon Gee. As the presidents of Marshall University and West Virginia University, respectively, Brad and Gordon understand the need to retain the talent coming out of local universities and, in turn, the positive impact these graduates can have on the state’s future.

Read Article

Celebrating the Wild Wonders of West Virginia on National Public Lands Day


Public lands are portions of land owned by the general population and managed by the federal government. According to the Congressional Research Service, approximately 640 million acres of U.S. land is federally owned across the country. In West Virginia — a place famously nicknamed “Almost Heaven” for its natural splendor — about one fifth of the state’s 15.5 million acres is publicly owned. These public lands are accessible to anyone, giving the general public space to connect with nature and learn about local wildlife. An advocate for West Virginia’s environmental and economic development, Brad D. Smith has taken steps to encourage his fellow mountaineers to embrace, appreciate and utilize the state’s natural resources and beauty.

Read Article

The Value of Young Mentors: What Today’s Leaders Can Learn from the Next Generation


The next generation of employees entering the workforce brings enthusiasm, drive and agility born out of global disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic and rapidly changing technological environment. Despite facing unprecedented challenges, young people today are continuously noted as maintaining a positive outlook on the world and striving to make a positive impact in hopes of creating a better future for all. Their life experiences and status as digital natives position these members of up-and-coming generations as great mentors. Who better to understand how to approach the future than those who will be living in it?

Read Article

Increasing Opportunity in West Virginia by Advancing Access to Education


When it comes to leveling the playing field of opportunity among people, education is a critical component. Studies from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people who receive higher education are more likely to earn a higher income than those who do not. Data from the Bureau also indicates that the unemployment rate is much higher for people who receive less education – specifically, those who do not have a high school diploma. With education having a significant impact on a person’s employment — and subsequent financial and economic stability — it is essential to increase access to educational opportunities for the greater health of historically underserved communities, including those in West Virginia.

Read Article

Interested in learning more
about Brad?