Born in Clinton and educated at South Otago High School, Kereyn Smith completed her DipPhEd at Otago in 1981 and a DipTeaching from Christchurch Teachers' College in 1982. Kereyn taught physical education in South Otago, Marlborough and the United Kingdom before beginning an outstanding career in sport leadership with her appointment as Executive Director of Sport Manawatu from 1988 to 1991.
Kereyn was Private Secretary to the Minister of Sport from 1991-1993 before taking over as Senior Manager and then General Manager of the Hillary Commission until 2000. From 2000-2011, Kereyn was Chief Executive of the New Zealand Academy of Sport (South Island), before being appointed as Secretary General of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, perhaps the pinnacle of sport leadership in New Zealand.
Kereyn has strategic expertise, commercial and financial acumen, and is a highly qualified, motivational and inspirational leader. Awarded the New Zealand Centenary Medal in 1990 and the IOC Women in Sport Award in 1999, Kereyn was recently made a Life Member and was a long serving Board Member and Chair of Netball New Zealand, Vice President of Netball International, a Trustee of Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, and a Council Member of the University of Otago.