Keynote Speakers

Photo of Ryan Smith wearing a gray and white checkered shirt in a dark gray striped suit.

Ryan J. Smith

Chief External Officer
Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

Prior to joining the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Ryan was the Executive Director of the Education Trust-West and Vice President of Strategic Advocacy for the Education Trust, an education and civil rights organization dedicated to closing opportunity gaps.

At The Education Trust-West, he worked on producing actionable, accessible research and advocacy tools that reached state policymakers and on-the-ground community advocates and education leaders alike. Ryan also led the team’s development and production of Black Minds Matter: Supporting the Educational Success of Black Students in California, and The Majority Report: Supporting the Educational Success of Latino Students in California. Before Ed Trust, Ryan served as the Director of Education Programs and Policy for United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where he was responsible for education programs and policy efforts for the organization. After launching the Partnership’s Family and Community Engagement Team and founding the Parent College Program, Ryan returned as the Partnership’s Chief External Officer. In this role, he is responsible for strategic and operational oversight of the organization’s development, communications, policy and advocacy, and family and community engagement initiatives. Recently, California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond appointed Ryan Co-Chair of the statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA, and he is also pursuing a Doctorate of Education (EdD) from UCLA. Ryan also served as an Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools’ mission is to transform schools and revolutionize school systems to empower all students with a high-quality education. As an independent nonprofit organization, the Partnership serves 14,000 students across 18 LA Unified schools in Watts, Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles. The Partnership is one of the largest in-district public school transformation organizations in the U.S. and its model combines the rigor and innovation of instructional leadership programs with authentic community partnerships and family engagement to transform district public schools and lead transformational system-wide reforms. As an in-district partner, the Partnership works within the Los Angeles Unified School District context, which includes honoring all collective bargaining agreements for its teachers and school staff.

Link to the Presentation: Ryan J Smith - Keynote