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Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:40pm


The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


David M. Steiner


Appointment of Assistant Commissioner, External Partnerships and Research


January 6, 2010


Goals 1-6




Issue for Decision

Will the Board of Regents approve my appointment of Laura Smith to the position of Assistant Commissioner, External Partnerships and Research?

Reasons for Consideration

              Laura Smith will bring over 15 years of program and project management experience to NYSED along with a broad set of relationships with education foundations from across the country.

              Laura started her career as an environmental science instructor working in the Florida Keys, the backwoods of Maine, and the San Juan Islands. Her work in urban education reform began at the San Diego City School District where she was focused on high school reform and helped the district secure and implement an $11 million grant from the Gates Foundation. Prior to attending business school, Laura developed new business opportunities and managed on-going client relationships for Scientific Learning Corporation, a K-12 software and service provider. While in San Diego, Laura was selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation's Residency in Urban Education. In this two year program she studied and evaluated the reform strategies of districts across the country.

              In her most recent work at the NYC Department of Education, Laura served in various roles. She managed the launch of new instructional services and subsequently introduced bundled support packages to the DOE's 1400+ schools, allowing schools to select and purchase professional services directly from the Department of Education.  Laura developed new strategic functions focused on developing the capacity of central offices to better support schools, including a performance management program, talent development initiative, and an expanded executive recruiting function. She helped to manage external partnerships, research and policy analysis, external affairs, human capital and labor strategy, and a new product development function. Before joining the DOE, Laura worked with charter school leaders at the NYC Center for Charter School Excellence, helping them build operational and financial management capacity.

              Laura is from Canandaigua, New York and earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development at Cornell University. While at Cornell, she interned at a BOCES school in Horseheads, New York, working with students with disabilities. Her Masters of Business Administration is from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Proposed Handling

              The Board of Regents will review Ms. Smith’s credentials and experience in Executive Session on January 11, 2010. 


I recommend that you take the following action:

VOTED, that the Board of Regents approve the appointment of Laura Smith to the position of Assistant Commissioner, External Partnerships and Research effective January 12, 2010.