photo: Henry Dombey/FACECOLLECTIVE
SlipStream Strategy is the brainchild of Tamsin Smith. It sprung from her conviction that curiosity nurtures positive change, especially when able navigators help deliver fresh ideas and wisdom to business, government, and advocacy groups, smoothing and simplifying the route with creative collaboration.
For the three years prior to forming SSS, Tamsin served as president of (RED), the for-benefit brand that harnesses private-sector ingenuity and influence to activate the buying power of the public in the fight against AIDS in Africa. She was recruited in early 2006 by (RED) founders Bono and Bobby Shriver to launch the program internationally and build an organization to support and sustain its rapid growth. At the time of her departure, (RED) had generated nearly $120 million, 100 percent of which is invested in HIV and AIDS programs in Swaziland, Ghana, Lesotho, and Rwanda.
Tamsin helped expand (RED)’s corporate partnerships to include Converse, Gap, Motorola, Emporio Armani, Apple, Hallmark, Dell, Microsoft, Starbucks, and American Express (UK only). During her tenure, (RED) spearheaded the publication of Vanity Fair’s Africa issue, which was guest-edited by Bono; organized a historic Sotheby’s (RED) art auction with Damien Hirst, and created a digital music magazine, (RED)WIRE, showcasing exclusive songs from major artists and stories about African culture.
Tamsin represented (RED) as a member of The Global Fund board’s private sector delegation, and through syndicated blogs and public speaking engagements. She has appeared at the International AIDS Conference, Cause Marketing Forum, NY Green Fashion Festival, Harvard Business School, and events sponsored by the Harvard Business Review, the World Economic Forum, and Self magazine, among others.
With a background in economic development, political engagement, and corporate social responsibility, Tamsin is broadly recognized as a driving force behind the creation of trade ties with lesser-developed countries and as a champion of building sustainable business opportunities for entrepreneurs and workers, particularly in Africa and Central America. Prior to joining (RED), she shepherded Gap Inc.’s public-policy strategy, joining the global specialty retailer in 1997 and creating and leading the company’s government affairs department for nine years. She began her career with six years on Capitol Hill, serving as senior legislative assistant to two members of the U.S. House of Representatives and associate staff to the House Appropriations Committee.
Tamsin graduated Kenyon College Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors in literature and holds a Masters in Law & Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She is a member of the 2009 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. Tamsin lives in San Francisco with her son and daughter, and an ever-expanding quiver of surfboards.