Smith T. Williams is the Chief of the Special Studies Section at the FDIC. She joined the FDIC Center for Financial Research after completing her PhD in Economics at the University of California, Irvine. Her current research focuses on the relationship between banks and the experiences of firms and communities. Smith's interests include start-up firms, entrepreneurship, job growth, community banks, and policy choice. Smith earned her BA from Randolph-Macon Woman's College and worked in international policy before attending graduate school.