Marshall S. Smith served as a key education advisor to three presidential administrations. He served in the Obama administration as a senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and as the Department of Education's Director of International Affairs. During the Clinton administration he held the positions of Under Secretary of Education and Acting Deputy Secretary of Education. And he was chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Shirley Hufstedler and assistant commissioner for policy studies in the Office of Education during the Carter Administration. In these roles, Smith oversaw the development and passage of several national education laws.
Smith has served as program director for education at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif. Smith has been a faculty member at Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Stanford University, where he served as dean of the Graduate School of Education. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former chairman of the board of the American Institutes of Research. He has been a member of numerous committees and boards at the National Research s. Smith has written widely on school effectiveness, social inequality, technology, open educational resources and standards-based education reform. He has a doctorate in education from Harvard University.