/ Jason Smith

team LEADERSHIP

Jason Smith

Managing Partner | Pre K - 12

Simply put, I love my job, and I love Widmeyer, now part of the Finn Partners family. Since the mid-90s, Iíve been able to support national education and childrenís public health initiatives, as well as major school reform efforts, for some of the most influential federal agencies, foundations, companies, and nonprofit groups in the US. And I love working with very smart peopleómy Widmeyer and Finn colleagues are among the brightest, most forward-thinking, innovative people around.

Starting with a couple stints on Capitol Hill, Iíve worked in Washington my entire career, and am a proud public policy nerd.† Early on I discovered how fulfilling it was to work on education issues, so I looked for a firm that had educationóespecially education public affairsócoursing through its veins.† It took very little time to find Scott Widmeyer, and I knew Iíd found home.

Since then Iíve had the opportunity to manage many of the firm's largest marquee accounts, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, our award-winning bullying prevention campaign, and ExxonMobilís education initiatives, among others.

I love diving deep into my clientsí core mission and identifying the best way to make persuasive cases promoting otherwise esoteric issues like math and science education, innovation and reform, teacher effectiveness, and assessment. I directed communications for the rollout of the Next Generation Science Standards and manage the work Widmeyer does to support Common Core State Standards. Iíve provided communications counsel and outreach to the U.S. Departments of Education, Energy, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Library of Congress.

Living in DC has also given me the opportunity to volunteer for education organizations that work hard to turn around our local schools.† I served on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Hope, one of Washington, DCís largest adult education and literacy programs, and currently work with Achievement Prep Academy in Southeast.

Growing up on the Nebraska prairie, I certainly could never have predicted the career I have today, or my life with my partner Michael and our terribly spoiled terrier, Rhys.† Thank goodness everything works out exactly the way itís supposed to.