|Roberts Hall (R) 113|
BackgroundMichael E. Smith joined the Rhode Island College Office of Institutional Research and Planning in June 2012, bringing with him over three decades of experience in education, public policy, research, planning, and professional writing. He most recently served as Assistant to the President at Rhode Island College from 1995-2012, working with the institution’s eighth and ninth presidents (John Nazarian and Nancy Carriuolo, respectively). He previously served as Education Specialist at the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education, where he assisted the Commissioner of Higher Education (Americo W. Petrocelli) and the Associate Commissioner for External Affairs (Anthony R. Leone). From 1986-1990, Mr. Smith served as Special Assistant to the Governor of Rhode Island; during most of that time he was the Governor’s speechwriter. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Smith was Executive Assistant to the Rhode Island Senate Minority Leader, Jonathan K. Farnum. He began his professional career as a civic education consultant to the Rhode Island Department of Education, where he served as Program Administrator for In-Site Rhode Island, a residential, state-wide civic education program for 9th and 10th-grade students. Smith has also taught political science courses in an adjunct capacity at Providence College, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island.
Mr. Smith holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University, which he earned in 1984. He is a 1979 graduate of Rhode Island College, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Public Service.
He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Cranston (RI) City Plan Commission as an appointee of Mayor Allan Fung. He previously held elected public office as a member of the Johnston (RI) School Committee from 1977-1981. From 1981-1983, he served on the Johnston Home Rule Charter Review Commission, and was elected as its Chair in 1982. As a member of the Governing Board of Common Cause of Rhode Island from 1990-1995, (including a term as Vice President), Smith was instrumental in the process leading to enactment of many government reforms during that period of time, especially in the realm of campaign finance reform, for which he was the principal architect and author.
Smith is a resident of Cranston, where he resides with his wife, the former Eileen E. Lennon, and his two children, Bryan P. Smith and Christina A. Smith.