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Jeff Smith is Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy at Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy in New York City. Jeff majored in Black Studies and Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Jeff, who has taught political science at Washington University and Dartmouth College, teaches and conducts research on campaigns and elections, public policy, race, urban politics, advocacy, and the legislative process. At Washington University, he received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence.
Jeff served in the Missouri Senate from 2006-2009 as the nation’s only white state senator from a majority-black district. Since then, he has consulted on affordable housing policy and completed a memoir about his experience in politics. Jeff contributes to The Recovering Politician, a new blog for former elected officials. His writing has been featured in Inc. and New York magazines, and he has been profiled in Harper’s, The New Republic, and other periodicals.
In 2004, Jeff ran for the congressional seat vacated by Dick Gephardt, losing narrowly to Rep. Russ Carnahan. His youth-powered grass-roots campaign was chronicled in the film Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, which was lauded by the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, and short-listed for an Academy Award.
Jeff co-founded the Confluence Academies, a group of inner-city charter schools. Jeff became the Senate’s leading voice on education reform, passing major education bills including a program offering loan forgiveness for top collegians who teach in disadvantaged areas after graduation.
In 2006, Jeff was named a rising star by St. Louis Magazine, Alive Magazine, and the Riverfront Times.