Gregoria Smith was born in a suburb of Manila, Philippines in 1941. Her father was a sergeant who lost his life during World War II, and her mother moved to another village to remarry. Raised mostly by her aunt and uncle, she quickly finished her schooling and graduated high school at 14. Afterwards, she completed her teacher training, briefly taught first grade, and then received her B.A. from the University of the Philippines. She moved to Guam in 1967 and was a faculty member at the College of Guam for 25 years. During this time, she took sabbaticals and received two master's degrees in anthropology of dance and community psychology from New York University. She also ran a dance company and became very active in the women's movement, eventually getting appointed Chair of the Commission on Status of Women, Guam. Moving to Houston in 1998, she began working as a quality management consultant for Aetna. She completed her Ph.D. in Human Organizational Systems at the Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. She continues to be very interested in helping organizations and being involved in her community.