The F5 executive sees her INROADS journey come full circle.

ATLANTA, GA (AUGUST 3, 2021) — INROADS reaches a historic milestone within its organization with the election of Yvette Smith as its new board chair, the first Black woman to serve at the highest levels at INROADS.   

For more than 50 years INROADS has served as a global leader in providing career equity solutions.

Yvette, an INROADS alumna, was first introduced to INROADS 37 years ago. She was 16 years old, and her exposure to the organization helped shape what she believed was possible for her career and leadership. Today, Smith is Senior Vice President of Customer Success and Business Transformation at F5 Networks, a company that specializes in application delivery networking, security and performance, multi-cloud management, network security and online fraud prevention.

“I am always proud to tell people that I am a product of INROADS. Leading at INROADS is my way of giving back to an organization that has given me so much,” said Smith.

“Having the thought leadership of Yvette on our National Board of Directors has been an amazing asset. Her commitment to doing bold transformative things has helped us take big swings. As our Madam Chair, she will continue to challenge us, and lead us into an incredible future,” said Forest T. Harper, Jr., president and CEO, INROADS, Inc.

Smith is a graduate of Emory University, where she earned a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business. She earned a Bachelor’s of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also a committed civic leader. Her passion for women’s and children’s health has led her to serve as a board member for Georgia Institute of Technology’s Women’s Alumni Network, and as an ambassador for the Grady Health Foundation. Additionally, she serves her community through her active membership with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

Smith joined F5 from Microsoft, where she was Corporate Vice President responsible for leading Customer Success programs for the company’s $60 billion Commercial Cloud business. Prior to working at Microsoft, Smith was Senior Vice President of Managed and Professional Services at Xerox and held multiple sales and executive roles at IBM.


Founded in 1970, INROADS delivers innovative programs and creative solutions that identify, accelerate and elevate the development of underrepresented talent throughout their careers. Through this development, students become equipped for corporate and community leadership that affects community renewal, social change and elevates economic status and quality of life. INROADS has more than 30,000 alumni, over 900 interns and serves 4,000+ students and 200 corporate clients. Learn more at INROADS.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn: @INROADSInc.