Press Release


Born This Way Foundation Executive Director to Keynote SHAPE America’s National Convention & Expo in Boston

RESTON, VA, November 10, 2016 — Maya Enista Smith, executive director of Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, will keynote the Opening General Session at the 132nd National Convention & Expo of SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Boston. More than 5,000 health and physical education teachers, researchers and other physical activity professionals are expected to attend the convention, which is the largest event of its kind in the country. The convention, which will take place March 14-18, is held in partnership with SHAPE America Eastern District and the Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD).

In her presentation, Enista Smith will discuss the Foundation's commitment to supporting the wellness of young people, and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world. "Health and physical education teachers, with their broad and influential impact, teach students to take responsibility for their own personal and social behaviors and to respect themselves and each other," says Enista Smith. "SHAPE America is a perfect partner to create positive school environments with us." 

According to SHAPE America President Jackie Lund of Georgia State University, "Physical activity helps kids take more responsibility for their own well-being and be more sensitive and responsive to the well-being of others. Those concepts have always been at the forefront of what physical education teaches as one of our national standards. We are proud to carry on those values through our new work with Born This Way Foundation." 

Enista Smith has more than a decade of experience in civic engagement, leadership, youth development and community engagement. Previously, she served as chief executive officer and chief operating officer of, an organization that empowers and invests in millennials to create and implement solutions to social problems.

In addition to her work with Born This Way Foundation, Enista Smith serves on the Board of Directors of Learning to Give and Give Together. For her leadership, she has been named YouthActionNet Fellow, Independent Sector's American Express NGen Fellow, and one of Utne Reader's 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World. She has also received the Women's Information Network's Young Women of Achievement Award, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman's EXCEL Award for excellence in non-profit management, and Prime Movers Fellowship, a multi-year program for emerging and established social movement leaders working at the national level. 

Enista Smith grew up in Maplewood, NJ, where she attended Columbia High School and Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She currently resides outside of San Francisco with her husband, David, and their two children.

Find more information on the national convention and follow the conversation on Twitter; #SHAPEBoston.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit