Deirdre (Dede) Smith moved to Charlottesville in 1979 with her husband UVa Professor Timothy Wilson, settling in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood, where they raised two children.
Dede favors data-driven decision making, reflecting her background in science; a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Michigan and several years involved in medical research at the University of Michigan, the Max-Planck Institute in Tubingen, Germany, and the University of Virginia.
Dede’s now-adult children attended Charlottesville public schools, including Jackson-Via Elementary, where Dede was an active volunteer, PTO leader, and advocate for the high-poverty south-side elementary schools. She served on the Charlottesville School Board from 2000-2006, with a focus on accountability and narrowing the achievement gap. She was instrumental in writing the 2006 strategic plan focusing on measurable outcomes.
From 1993-2007, Dede served as the Executive Director of the Ivy Creek Foundation. During her tenure she expanded environmental education opportunities, facilitated the construction of the Ivy Creek Education Center, helped create the Ragged Mountain Natural Area, and researched the rich African American history of the Ivy Creek Natural Area (ICNA), culminating in the designation of ICNA as an African-American Heritage site. Dede continues her interest in the African American history of the area and is a member of the Central Virginia History Group.
Dede is a strong believer in the power and importance of community volunteerism. She is a founding member and past president of the Rivanna Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, a co-founder of the Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan, and has been active in several other environmental organizations.
As a City Councilor, Dede serves on the Social Services Advisory Board, Citizen’s Advisory Panel to the police department, Charlottesville Community Scholarship Program, Retirement Commission, Rivanna River Basin Commission, and the Darden Towe Park Board. She welcomes input from all citizens and enjoys hearing about what is on people’s minds.
To contact a Council member, you can send an e-mail to the Clerk of Council, or mail a letter to P.O. Box 911, City Hall, Charlottesville, VA, 22902, or call (434) 970-3113 .