U.S. Department of Education
Biographical Sketch: Kathleen Smith’s career spans a broad range of perspectives and expertise. She currently serves as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Federal Student Aid (FSA). She most recently served as Acting Assistant Secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). Prior to joining the US Department of Education, she served on the staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions as an Education Policy Advisor after also serving with the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Prior to her work on the Hill, she had positions of increasing responsibility, most recently with the Access Group as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, Policy and Member Services. Prior to joining Access Group, she served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Department of Education’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation. Additionally, she served as President of the Education Finance Council; with PHEAA as their federal relations director; and with the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation as director of communications and public relations. She has also served as Assistant Director of Financial Aid at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY and as a program analyst at HESC in Albany, NY.
She received her B.A. in psychology and management from D’Youville College and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of New Haven. She also completed a Master’s degree in Communications: Journalism and Public Affairs from American University.