Kristen Smith started her career as an Early Head Start educator, an instructor within a model college-in-prison program, and taught English IV, English III Honors, Technical Writing, and Social Studies. She has also published a narrative on black girls in education in the hip-hop-informed social justice anthology, Wish to Live: The Hip-Hop Feminism Pedagogy Reader.
Smith is a founding member of South Louisiana Coalition for Education (SLCE) with Leadership for Educational Equity and has served as a policy advisor fellow in the office of policy and governmental affairs at the Louisiana Department of Education, congressional intern with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, D.C., and was appointed to Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish Sharon Weston Broome’s transition team on education and as a national advisory board member with Advance Illinois.
Smith holds a B.A. in History, an Ed.M. in Education Policy Studies, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Currently, she is a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar earning a Doctor of Education in Diversity & Equity in Education (DE) at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.