Anna Deavere Smith is a playwright, actress and professor at New York University, best known for playing Gloria Akalitus on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and Nancy McNally on The West Wing.  Ms. Smith is said to have created a new form of theater. In 2013, she received the National Humanities Medal, presented to her by President Obama, and in 2015, she was the Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Honorary awards include the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Grant, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, two Tony nominations, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Fires in the Mirror. Honorary degrees include those from Yale University, Juilliard, Barnard, the University of Pennsylvania, Radcliffe, Wesleyan, Williams College, and Northwestern University.