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Edward Smith

Senior Program Officer


Edward Smith is a senior program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. He helps advance the team’s goals and functions by inviting and reviewing funding requests and making recommendations for investments in ongoing or emerging innovations. He also manages a portfolio of grants focused on promoting college opportunity and degree completion for marginalized student groups.

He joined Kresge in 2019 after 10 years in education policy research, working to understand how city leaders develop and advance education attainment initiatives rooted in a city’s assets and suited to the needs of its people. Previously, he held positions at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, NASPA’s Research and Policy Institute and the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

Ed has consulted for New Jersey’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the Community College of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Education. He also taught courses at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. He has served as an instructor of record at the Davidson County Correctional Facility (Nashville, Tenn.), the Workshop School of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State University’s College of Education and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in education from Pennsylvania State University.

Areas of Specialty

College access and success

Community colleges

Higher Education

Higher education financing and affordability

Minority-serving institutions

Nontraditional students