Kenneth M. Smith

President and CEO

Mr. Kenneth M. Smith serves as President and CEO of Jobs for America’s Graduates, Inc. (JAG), the nation’s largest, most consistently applied model of high school retention and school-to-career transition for high-risk young people of great promise.

In 1979, Mr. Smith worked with Governor Pete du Pont of Delaware on the design of the first statewide test of the JAG Model and has served as President and CEO since its inception.  JAG currently serves 75,000 young people annually, in more than 1,450 high schools, middle schools, and out-of-school programs in 39 states.   Over 1.4 million youth have been connected to JAG throughout its 40-year history.
The non-profit JAG National Board of Directors is chaired by Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana.  It includes among its 50 members—fourteen Governors and several executives of major corporations and business and community organizations.
In recognition of his knowledge of national employment and training issues, three Presidents have appointed Mr. Smith to national commissions.  He was appointed in 1981 and again in 1983 by President Reagan as Chairman of the National Commission for Employment Policy.  Designed to analyze the full range of government policy related to employment, the Commission continues with a $2 million annual appropriation and a 15-member professional staff.  Mr. Smith also accepted an appointment by President Reagan to the National Advisory Council on Vocational Education, where he had previously served under appointment by President Ford.  President Nixon appointed Mr. Smith as Vice Chairman of the National Advisory Council on the Education of Disadvantaged Children for the period 1973-76.

Mr. Smith is also Chairman and Chief Executive of Strategic Partnerships LLC.

Prior to founding JAG, Mr. Smith served as staff aide to President Nixon (1969-70); as Director of Special Projects for the Distributive Education Clubs of America; and founder and President of 70,0001 Ltd., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping high school dropouts obtain employment.  Thereafter, he served in a new post as Senior Advisor to the Governor of Delaware on all activities related to education at the secondary and postsecondary levels.  During this period, he chaired the Commission of the Future of Education in Delaware and was nominated to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Delaware Technical College.

Mr. Smith serves as a Trustee of the America’s Promise Alliance, founded in 1997 with General Colin Powell as Chairman and chaired today by Alma Powell, is a cross-sector partnership of more than 300 corporations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and advocacy groups that are passionate about improving lives and changing outcomes for children.

Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the American University School of International Service..  He resides with his wife in Sarasota, Florida.  His daughters, Jennifer and Tara, reside in Washington, D.C. and New York City respectively in pursuit of their careers.


Contact Information:

Kenneth M. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer
Jobs for America’s Graduates
1729 King Street, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314-2720
Tel. 703.684.9479
Fax. 703.684.9489