By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

Two leading innovators in the information field have joined the Board of Advisors of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool).

They are Christopher Smith, ’97, an iSchool alumnus and venture capitalist; and Krista Canfield, also a Syracuse University alumnus, and the senior manager of corporate communications at the professional networking site LinkedIn.

“I was so impressed with Chris’s and Krista’s contributions to our Spring Break in Silicon Valley Alumni Reception last March that I knew immediately we wanted them on our Board of Advisors,” said iSchool Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy. “I am so pleased that they have accepted.  Their prominence in the burgeoning entrepreneurial information field adds richness to our Board in domains that are key to our students.”

Smith is the managing director for the Minneapolis-based Coral Group, a leading venture capital firm that backs companies across the communications, software, enterprise computing and media sectors. His first venture-capital initiative was with IBM’s Venture Capital Group, where he focused on enterprise computing.  Prior to his work at IBM, Smith was a manager with Accenture, where he was involved in launching new businesses in the communications and media markets, forming ventures using Accenture’s intellectual property, and consulting to emerging start-up companies. Smith got his start in the information field on the engineering side of the business. In earlier roles elsewhere, he developed enterprise software for Xerox, covered data communications technology for Network Computing Magazine, and administered large networks for Syracuse University.

In addition to his degree from Syracuse, Smith also earned an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he was an IBM Venture Fellow. He also serves on the boards of companies Delivery Agent, Entone Technologies, Firetide and FON Wireless.

Canfield has been with LinkedIn since January 2008, when the networking site had 18 million members and 200 employees. The publicly-owned, worldwide organization has since grown to 187 million members and almost 3,200 employees. Canfield is responsible for development and implementation of the company’s global consumer public relations efforts and also oversees the company’s communication efforts in Brazil, Canada and Japan.

Prior to joining LinkedIn, she previously worked as a senior account executive at the public relations firm Horn Group and as a former broadcast journalist. As one of her unique initiatives, Canfield created and has managed LinkedIn’s journalist training program, where she has trained top international journalists at some of the world’s foremost media outlets (such as CNN, Forbes, Fortune, NBC, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal). The program teaches the use of LinkedIn as a reporting tool to uncover story ideas and sources. More than 13,000 journalists now are members of LinkedIn’s official LinkedIn for Journalists group.

In promoting the company, Canfield routinely speaks with reporters for top national and international media outlets. She has been quoted in local, national and international print publications and has appeared on live and taped radio and TV segments. She also has spoken at numerous events as a panelist and as a keynote speaker. She also is a member of  the career advisory board at DeVry University.

Including Smith and Canfield, the iSchool’s Board of Advisors is comprised of 25 information field investors, innovators, and practitioners.