Andy Smith
Consultant and RIDE Strategic Engagement Resident

Andy has dedicated his career to facilitating experiences that bend the moral arc of our public education system toward liberty and justice for all students, especially students of color and students from low-income families. He conducts research and policy analysis, and manages projects focused on educator diversity and retention, educator preparation and the integration of education policy, research and practice. Andy has supported a wide range of K12, higher education and philanthropic partners with strategic planning, design and implementation. He also serves as Education First’s Strategic RIDE (race, inclusion, diversity and equity) Engagement Resident where he co-leads the organization’s RIDE strategy and development.

Prior to joining Education First, Andy served as P-12 Data and Policy Analyst at The Education Trust, where he was the policy and data lead for state accountability coalitions in 2 southern states around the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Andy has also served as a Site Coordinator for a local Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools program and later as a consultant for CDF’s national Freedom Schools program, where he trained over 1,500 young leaders annually.

Hailing from rural North Carolina, Andy earned a B.A. in International Comparative Studies from Duke University. Additionally, he holds an M.P.P. from Vanderbilt University concentrating in Education Policy. He is also an alumnus of the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia Law School.

Andy's expertise

  • Policy Analysis & Development
  • Communication & Advocacy
  • Research, Program Analysis & Program Strategy
  • Results-Driven Meetings & Facilitations
  • Getting Stuff Done

Top 3 Places Traveled

  • The latest Beyoncé concert
  • Any beach
  • All over North Carolina

Andy likes


  • Karaoke anyone?

  • Let’s Go Duke!