Michael B. Smith, M.Ed. | The Washington Center

Michael B. Smith, M.Ed.

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Michael Smith was named president of The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in December 2004. The Washington Center provides an integrated academic and work experience – for college credit – that prepares students for lives of leadership, civic engagement and professional achievement. Mike joined The Washington Center in 1976 when a staff of six served 300 students annually from 30 colleges. Today, The Washington Center serves over 2,000 students, annually, from the U.S. and 28 countries, with a staff of 90. Fall Semester 2012  marked a significant milestone: 50,000 Alumni have attended The Washington Center program. Mike has served in various capacities within the organization including director of student services, vice president of administration and student life, vice president of operations, senior vice president, and executive vice president and chief operating officer, before his appointment as president.


Under Mike’s leadership and in collaboration with his 90 colleagues at The Washington Center, enrollment has grown by over 20% over the past six years. Over 50% of The Washington Center’s enrollments are women, over 22% are students of diverse backgrounds and 17% are international.


The Washington Center provides over $1.5 million in financial assistance to its students annually. Corporate, foundation and individual contributions and pledges to The Washington Center’s recent comprehensive campaign totaled more than $16.8 million exceeding a goal of $15 million. State-funded scholarships and federal grants and stipends reached $5.5 million in additional aid transferred annually to students. In 2010, The Washington Center completed construction of a $38 million Academic and Residential Facility near Capitol Hill that includes apartments, classrooms, a computer lounge, fitness center and an auditorium.


Recently, Mike and Ambassador Alan Blinken, Chairman, have worked to add several distinguished new members to  the Board of Directors: former Congressman, House Majority Leader and presidential candidate Dick Gephardt; Dr. Michelle Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy and TWC Alumna; Ivelisse Estrada, Senior Vice President, Univision; Irene Hirano Inouye, president of the U.S.-Japan Council and chair, Ford Foundation; and Christine Park, former president of the New York Life Foundation have joined 22 other Directors in serving on The Washington Center’s governing board. Additionally, former Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska also served on the Board prior to his confirmation as Secretary of Defense in 2013.


Prior to joining The Washington Center, Mike worked for five years as a student counselor/resource teacher in the Norwood, Massachusetts public schools. He also served in the armed services and is a Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Navy (1969-71). He received his master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, his bachelor's degree in history from Ohio Northern University and an associate's degree from Dean College. He received an honorary doctorate in public service from Ohio Northern University in 2010.


An active alumnus of Ohio Northern University, Mike has served on the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors (The Getty Council) since 1989. In 2011, Mike received Dean College’s outstanding Alumni Award and in 2015 he received Ohio Northern University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Mike also serves on the Board of Directors of the NoMA Business Improvement District in Washington, D.C., and on the newly established Board of Trustees of the NOMA Parks Foundation. NoMA is Washington’s newest neighborhood; adjacent to Capitol Hill, and over $3 billion in private funding has been invested in the area. The Washington Center’s new Residential and Academic Facility is located in this neighborhood. Mike received the Private Sector Leadership Award from NoMA in 2012. Mike and his wife, Barbara, reside in Washington, D.C. and have two grown children, both alumni of The Washington Center, and two grandchildren.

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