TWC President Mike Smith to Step Down in 2016


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Longtime TWC President Mike Smith to Step Down in 2016

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Former Goldman Sachs executive Christopher Norton named successor.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Michael B. Smith, an integral part of The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars for nearly its entire history, will retire as president of the organization in August 2016. Christopher K. Norton, current vice chair of TWC’s board of directors and a former executive at Goldman Sachs, will become the organization’s third president on Sept. 1, 2016.


“I’ve seen firsthand the impact of TWC’s mission on our students and our many partners, and I’m so proud of our more than 52,000 alumni around the world,” Smith said. “Although I will step down as president next year, I look forward to remaining engaged with TWC for years to come.”


A Legacy of Excellence

Named TWC’s second president in 2004, Smith succeeded the organization’s founder, William “Bill” Burke. Smith joined TWC shortly after its establishment, a time when a staff of just six people served approximately 300 students annually. Today, TWC has grown to employ more than 90 staff who serve approximately 2,000 students per year – a testament to Smith and Burke’s vision and dedication. Over his nearly 40 years with TWC, Smith worked in many aspects of the organization, including as vice president of administration and student life and executive vice president/chief operating officer, before assuming the presidency. In the past decade under Smith’s guidance, TWC has seen a more than 20 percent increase in enrollment while making an unprecedented commitment to diversity. Today, more than one-third of current students are first-generation college students and more than 50 percent of the student body is female with more than a quarter hailing from countries outside of the United States. Corporate, foundation and state partners have provided millions of dollars in support to open TWC’s doors to students with disabilities and financial need.


Smith earned an associate’s degree from Dean College, a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University and a master of education degree from the University of Massachusetts-Boston. In 2010 he received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Ohio Northern University. Before beginning his career in education, Smith served with the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1971 and is a Vietnam veteran.


A Focus on the Future

Norton distinguished himself as an innovative and effective leader over his nearly 20-year career with Goldman Sachs. In addition to managing key businesses in London, Tokyo and Frankfurt, he oversaw the investment needs of some of the United States’ largest and most sophisticated companies. Norton also served as the head of Goldman Sachs’ America Institutional Business Development Group.


Since leaving the corporate world, Norton has applied his expertise, leadership skills and passion to benefit educational institutions. As chair of the board at Loomis Chaffee School, he has worked closely with the school’s head to execute a bold new strategic plan. A dedicated alumnus of Haverford College, Norton has served as its vice chair and a campaign co-chairman, among several other roles.


In 2003, Norton, the parent of a TWC alumna, joined the organization’s board of directors. He co-chaired TWC’s recent $15 million comprehensive campaign – which exceeded its goal, raising $16.3 million. As vice chair and a member of the board’s executive committee, Norton has played an instrumental role in refreshing TWC’s strategic plan and over the past year, has spent time at TWC working directly with staff members. This has deepened his knowledge of the organization’s current strengths and future opportunities.


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About The Washington Center


The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has more than 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975.

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