A native of Connecticut, Ellen Smith has lived in Oak Ridge since 1981. She is an environmental scientist on the staff of the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she has participated in or managed a variety of activities related to waste management and environmental impact assessment. She was first elected to City Council in 2007. She served from 2007 to 2012 and was elected again for a 4-year term that began in 2014. As a Council member she served as Mayor Pro-Tem from 2014 to 2016, has served on the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee and other ad hoc committees, represented the Council on the City and Schools Preschool Planning Committee in 2015, and has represented city government in retail recruitment activities. She participated as a member of two technical committees for the Plan ET regional planning initiative (2011-2013) for the Knoxville region. In 2016 she became a member of the National League of Cities’ Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Advocacy Committee.
Ellen served as an appointed member of the City's Environmental Quality Advisory Board (EQAB) from 1991 to 2007 and from 2013 to 2014. She was EQAB's vice-chairman for 5 years and chairman for 11 years.
Ellen received a BA degree in 1974 from Carleton College in Minnesota, where her major was geology. In 1979 she obtained an MS degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also completed most requirements for an MS in Geology. More recently she completed the Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) Elected Officials Academy (levels 1 and 2). Some of her other present and past civic activities and recognitions include:
Ellen is married to Richard Norby, a senior researcher in the ORNL Environmental Sciences Division and a UT-Battelle corporate fellow.
Ellen has a website at www.ellensmith.org.