NEW YORK – The Education Trust–New York is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Smink as its deputy director, a position in which he will work closely with the executive director to implement the organization’s key initiatives while leading policy and advocacy strategies at the state and local levels.
Smink comes to the role with more than 20 years of experience in education policy at the national, state, and local levels, working on issues affecting students from birth through college and into the workforce.
Prior to leading his own consulting practice, Smink was a co-founder and vice president of policy at the National Summer Learning Association and New York State director at the National Center on Time and Learning. He also served as a political appointee of Governor Edward Rendell at the Pennsylvania Department of Education and as legislative associate for the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, D.C. Smink also brings extensive experience on early literacy issues through previous consulting work with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading and other organizations focused on improving 3rd grade reading outcomes.
Smink will be based in Rochester.
“As Ed Trust–NY continues to celebrate our fifth anniversary, we are excited about the wealth of experience Jeff brings to the team that will support our work to advance educational equity for all New York students,” said Dia Bryant, executive director of The Education Trust–New York. “We are also thrilled to expand our presence in upstate New York, particularly in Rochester, where we can contribute to the city’s rich history of fighting for racial justice.”
“I’ve long admired The Education Trust for their focus on educational equity and am thrilled to join the team,” Smink said. “The pandemic has exacerbated long-standing educational inequities across New York State, making the work of The Education Trust–New York more important than ever. I’m excited to help Ed Trust–NY meet this important moment and advance an agenda that prioritizes the needs of students and families of color or low-income backgrounds.”
Smink is active in the Rochester community and has been a member of the Democrat and Chronicle Board of Contributors, Mayor’s Early Learning Council, the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Rochester.
Smink will begin his role on March 16.
“This is a critical moment for our children, our communities, and our education system here in Rochester,” said Sebrone Johnson, senior vice president of operations for the Urban League of Rochester. “Ed Trust–NY has been an invaluable partner in our advocacy around educational equity issues. Jeff adds great leadership and in-depth knowledge of our educational concerns. We have championed important issues together in the past and I look forward to our continued partnership on concerns important to Rochester’s families.”
“Jeff is a well-respected and admired advocate who knows the issues facing large urban districts like Buffalo and Rochester,” said Samuel L. Radford III, past president of the District-Parent Coordinating Council of Buffalo and co-chairperson of We the Parents. “Ed Trust–NY has been a game changer when it comes to supporting parents and advocates working to advance educational equity for all students, and I am excited to work with Jeff to improve opportunities for children across New York.”