Linda K. Smith
Director, Early Childhood Policy at Bipartisan Policy Center
Linda K. Smith is the Director of Early Childhood Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington DC based think tank that promotes bipartisanship and actively works to find consensus and common ground on key challenges facing the nation. Ms. Smith is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Early Childhood Development for the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) at the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). In this role she lead policy efforts and coordination of agency priorities for children from birth to five years old, including Head Start, Early Head Start, Child Care, and served as the liaison to other federal agencies, including the Department of Education, DoD, and USDA. Ms. Smith’s previous positions included serving as executive director for the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (now Child Care Aware of America), supporting community-based agencies concerned with the care of children in their earliest years. Before joining NACCRRA, Smith served as a professional staffer on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under the Chairmanship of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Prior to this work, she was the director of the Office of Family Policy for the Secretary of Defense, where she was one of the primary architects of the military's child care program. Additionally, Smith held positions with both the United States Army and United States Air Force. Smith began her career in early childhood education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in her native state of Montana. She is a graduate of the University of Montana.