After serving as the keynote speaker at our Class 19 graduation,  Jeff Smith agreed to join our National Advisory Board. He brings a passion for our mission that is informed by his own stint in a federal prison, as he shares in his TED talk (below).

Jeff Smith is Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy in the New School’s Urban Policy graduate program, a consultant on affordable housing policy and prison reform, and a frequent public speaker on ethics in politics. Jeff served in the Missouri Senate from 2006-2009 as the nation’s only white state senator from a black-majority district. He is a columnist for City and State and a contributor to The Recovering Politician, a popular new blog for former legislators. He has appeared on CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Current, and has been profiled by NPR’s “This American Life,” Harper’sThe New Republic, and several other periodicals. He recently gave a TED talk (see here) on prison entrepreneurship, and has published op-ed pieces for CNN, The AtlanticSalonInc.National JournalSalonPoliticoNew York MagazineBuzzfeed, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Examiner, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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