Behind the Brilliance 098: Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i


This week’s guest is Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, EVP of Diversity, Inclusion & Communications at CBS Television. After making a role for herself at Nike, she went on to do PR for comedian Sinbad before landing at CBS and rising through the ranks.

Tiffany is brilliant at advocating for herself and translating her passion into tangible vehicles to get what she wants. We talk about that and much more in this conversation.




Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i |  CBS Television

Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i was named Executive Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion & Communications, CBS Entertainment in February 2016.

Smith-Anoa’i reports to Glenn Geller, President, CBS Entertainment, on new and existing programs that foster diversity across the division, and to Chris Ender, Executive Vice President, Communications, CBS Corporation, for her ongoing CBS Communications activities.

In this position, Smith-Anoa’i expands upon the division’s current diversity initiatives, as well as develop new programs that recruit, nurture and hire diverse talent to work in front of and behind the camera.  In addition, she serves as the entertainment liaison to multi-cultural coalition groups and provide outreach to agencies, guilds and other industry organizations that represent diverse talent.

She had been Senior Vice President Entertainment Diversity & Communications since 2015. She was appointed Vice President, Entertainment Diversity & Communications, CBS Entertainment  in 2009,  Smith-Anoa’i created and launched “CBS On Tour,” a community outreach program in which executives visit schools to educate and encourage students interested in entertainment careers;  expanded the writer selection process for “The CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase;” implemented an annual symposium with casting directors to strategize on best practices to diversify the casting process; partnered with GLAAD to host learning workshops and joined forces with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to encourage roles for women in front of and behind the camera.

In addition to her executive duties, Smith-Anoa’i, who first joined CBS Entertainment in 2000 as a Senior Publicist for primetime series, continues to draw upon her background and talents as a network publicist, leading West Coast efforts on various projects and network specials, including the annual Grammy Awards®.

Prior to her work at CBS, Smith-Anoa’i was responsible for all aspects of publicity and promotions for Image Public Relations. There, she took on a multitude of projects, including organizing the global press outreach for “Sinbad’s Soul Music Festival.”  Preceding her position at Image Public Relations, Smith-Anoa’i worked for NIKE, Inc. where she launched their NIKETOWN stores in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

Smith-Anoa’i’s community service and charity work includes the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Girl Up and Diamond in the Raw. She also maintains a close relationship with her alma mater, Howard University, where she graduated with honors from the School of Communications.  In 2013, Howard University presented her with the “Global Visionary Award” for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity and Communications.

Currently, she resides in her home town of Los Angeles with her husband, Reno J. Anoa’i, and their daughter.


TOPICS COVERED (partial list)

-Tiffany’s journey from sports journalism intern to EVP at one of the world’s largest entertainment companies

-How Tiffany created a role for herself at Nike

-Tiffany’s approach to going after she wants and negotiating to get it

-Tiffany’s advice to her younger self

-and much more!


STUFF MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE (clickable links below)

Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i on Twitter

The Hidden Brain (Tiffany’s book pick)

Learning Like A Girl (Tiffany’s book pick)

Lisa Likes:

  • Kim

    This was an amazing podcast. I loved her transparency and overcoming the odds of creating her own place in media. It is definitely one of my favorites. 🙂 Also I must try fitness blender…I am not a fan of gyms yet…lol.

    • Yessss! Tiffany is amazing. And yes definitely give FB a shot. It has saved me on many days when I didn’t have the time or desire to go to the gym. Good sweat-making workouts!