In Memoriam: Marshall “Mike” Smith

In Memoriam: Marshall “Mike” Smith

We are incredibly saddened to announce the loss of our colleague Marshall “Mike” Smith, a former senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation and dear, dear friend. Mike was among the brightest lights in the education firmament, a star that helped guide so many, on our journey true north.

Mike was a scholar, leader, writer, and extraordinarily generous collaborator. He was instrumental to raising academic standards for all children in the nation. He was a tireless, brilliant champion for educational equity. He was a passionate advocate for the wellbeing and mental health of children.

Mike made countless, lasting contributions to education throughout his career – in academia, government, and philanthropy -- each a powerful tribute to his leadership and an inspiration to us all.

Prior to becoming a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Marshall Smith served for two years in the Obama administration as the senior counselor to the secretary of education and director of international affairs. From 2001-2009 he directed the Education Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Prior to that, in the Clinton administration, he was the undersecretary of education for seven years, responsible for all policy and budget matters, and for four of those years also the acting deputy secretary, the second ranked person in the US Department of Education. During the Carter administration, he served as the chief of staff to the first secretary for education and assistant commissioner for policy studies in the Office of Education. In the Ford administration he was the director of policy and budget for the National Institute of Education.

While not in government, he was at different times an associate professor at Harvard and a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and at Stanford. At Stanford, he was also the dean of the School of Education. He has authored a large number of publications on topics varying from computer content analysis, evaluation and research methodology, social and educational inequality, early childhood education, open educational resources, federal policy and school reform. He is a member of the National Academy of Education. All of his degrees are from Harvard.

We are deeply grateful for the years we shared with Mike, and we will miss his wisdom, goodness, and wit profoundly.