Felicia Cumings Smith

Senior Program Officer – College Ready,
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
Frankfort KY

Felicia Cumings Smith is Senior Program Officer – College Ready at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Cumings Smith started her career as an elementary and reading resource teacher in Jefferson County (Kentucky) Public Schools where she helped design and lead curriculum work in literacy and formative assessment benchmarks. She has provided leadership in education in Kentucky for many years, including as an Associate Commissioner of Education and Chief Academic Officer from 2009 to 2014. In this role, she led the work of three branches of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) focused on improving teaching and learning opportunities for all students and increasing teacher effectiveness. At KDE, Dr. Cumings Smith also served as goal lead for College and Career Readiness, Proficiency, and Next Generation Professionals Delivery. In addition, she directed Kentucky field work for the National Center for Education and the Economy.

Dr. Cumings Smith also served as an Education Program Consultant in P-12 Literacy and as director of the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development at the University of Kentucky. She holds an Ed.D. in Instruction and Administration from the University of Kentucky, and a Master of Education, K-12 Reading Specialist, and a Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education, from the University of Louisville.

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