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Gary B. Smith


smith-gary-bIn May 2001, Gary B. Smith began serving as chief executive officer of Ciena, a major telecommunications networking equipment and software services supplier based in Hanover. Since 2000, he has also been president and a director of the company.

Prior to joining Ciena in 1997, as vice president, international sales, he was vice president of sales and marketing for INTELSAT, as well as vice president of sales and marketing for Cray Communications Inc.

What are your hopes for the state or your community this year?

My hope is that we can close the digital divide. Digital inclusion is an issue that simply cannot be ignored, so Ciena is investing $10 million over the next five years to enable greater connectivity, technology access and digital skills for 100,000 underserved students in our communities. We’ve partnered with Verizon In-novative Learning to give devices to local schools, including the Baltimore Design School. Also, Ciena’s technology continues to help service providers scale their networks and improve connectivity. We hope that other companies will follow suit.

What do you do to unplug in your free time?

Well-being is a key focus at Ciena. Also, industrial photography is a real passion of mine, and it has led me in new directions. One of these is Instagram, where I can showcase my work and highlight a cause that’s dear to me: breast cancer research. I direct proceeds of some of my work to the Breast Cancer Alliance, which I find extremely rewarding.

This profile is part of The Daily Record's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at or in our digital edition.