Janet Marie Smith
Renowned architect and urban planner Janet Marie Smith is best known in baseball for her work on Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which set the standard for a new wave of ballparks after its opening in 1992. Smith worked for the Orioles from 1989-94 as Vice President of Planning and Development during the design and construction of the park. She later re-joined the club from 2009-12 to direct renovations and expansion of the Orioles’ spring training facility in Sarasota, FL., and upgrades to Camden Yards.
For the last 10 years, Smith has overseen the large-scale improvement/expansion projects at Dodger Stadium and Campo Las Palmas (the club’s home in the Dominican Republic). From modernizing the stadium to incorporating the club’s rich history into the ballpark experience, Smith’s fan-friendly touches have helped keep Dodger Stadium – the third-oldest ballpark in baseball – one of the premier venues in all of sports. Smith initially joined the club as a senior vice president in 2012 and was promoted to her current role as Executive Vice President of Planning and Development in 2020.
From 2002-2009, Smith served as Senior Vice President of Planning and Development for the Boston Red Sox, overseeing the preservation and expansion of Fenway Park. Smith was President of Turner Sports and Entertainment Development and Vice President of Planning and Development for the Atlanta Braves from 1994-2000, when she helped transform the 1996 Olympic Stadium into Turner Field and she oversaw the development of the Philips Arena (now State Farm Arena), home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
Outside of baseball, Smith has worked on development projects including Battery Park City in New York, unfulfilled plans for Pershing Square in LA, redevelopment of former industrial buildings on Baltimore’s waterfront, as well as renovation plans for the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, CA. Most recently, Smith has been leading the efforts to complete a series of short-term and long-term improvements to Stamford Bridge in London, home of Chelsea Football Club. With a proven track record of spearheading improvements to historic sports venues, Smith is working in tandem with the Chelsea Football Club team to pay homage to the club’s history, directing the exploration of opportunities for future development and the elevation of the fan experience.
Smith was the Edward P. Bass Visiting Professor at Yale University School of Architecture during the Fall of 2017 and has served as a guest lecturer and critique for various other schools of architecture, including Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and Morgan State University’s School of Architecture & Planning. In 2014, Smith was named one of WISE LA’s Women of Inspiration.
A native of Jackson, Miss., Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in urban planning from City College of New York. In 2021, she was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
“The three most important things that have happened in baseball since the Second World War were Jackie Robinson taking the field for Brooklyn in 1947, free agency arriving in 1975, and Orioles Park at Camden Yards opening in 1992… The last was an act of heroic nostalgia, but, then, baseball fans are disposed to live with cricks in their necks from looking backwards. Which is why Major League Baseball owes a debt to a willowy woman from Mississippi. To those who said, ‘You can’t turn back the clock,’ Janet Marie Smith responded with ‘Well, we’ll just see about that.’”
George Will, A Nice Little Place on the North Side – 2014
Fran has spent her career exploring the intersection of real estate, urban policy, and sports, most recently as the leader of Mission Rock, a public private partnership between the San Francisco Giants and the City of San Francisco. At the Giants, Fran led the strategy, entitlements, design and construction of this 3.5 million square foot, $2.6 billion mixed use waterfront development, which includes over eight acres of parks, 40% affordable housing, VISA’s Global Headquarters, and a range of local retail and small businesses. With her passion for sustainable development, Fran led the creation of and served as CEO of Mission Rock Utilities, the first ever central heating, cooling, and wastewater treatment district in San Francisco, which allowed the neighborhood to be completely carbon neutral, with zero water waste. She established the founding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program for the community, including the creation of the City’s first ever Women in Building Trades Training Program. In addition to her work on real estate, Fran sat on the Executive Committee of the Giants, and guided long term growth and strategic investments for the baseball club.
Weld holds a B.S. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a M.B.A. with a concentration in Public Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of SPUR, an urban policy think tank, and has been named one of Bay Area’s Most Influential Women and “40 Under 40” by the San Francisco Business Times. Weld has taught a master’s level Studio course in UC Berkeley’s Real Estate Development + Design program, and frequently guest lectures at the GSB.
After almost 15 years in California, Fran recently returned to her east coast roots and now lives in Baltimore with her husband, Matthew and their son, Wylie.
Special Project Director
Director, Planning and Development
Manager, Special Projects
Coordinator, Planning & Development
Coordinator, Special Projects
Coordinator, Planning & Development