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Valerie Smith Elected to American Council of Education Board of Directors

Valerie Smith wearing red jacket, smiling at camera

Valerie Smith, president of Swarthmore College, has been elected to the board of the American Council of Education (ACE), the largest higher education advocacy organization in the country.

“It is a privilege to represent the collaborative, diverse, and intellectually rich Swarthmore community as a board member of the American Council on Education,” says Smith, who will serve on the ACE board from March 2021 through March 2023. “As our nation grapples with the intersecting crises of inequality, racial justice, the financial and public health implications of COVID-19, and the very meaning of democracy itself, the transformative power of education has never been more important. I’m looking forward to serving in this role and advocating on behalf of students and institutions working to make higher education more inclusive and accessible.”

A distinguished scholar of African American literature, Smith has served as the 15th president of Swarthmore College since 2015. During her tenure, she has prioritized attracting more low-income and first-generation students, supporting curricular innovation, increasing the diversity of the student body, renewing facilities, and strengthening relationships between the College and the region.

ACE represents more than 1,700 two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions.  “ACE’s mission of leading advocacy efforts that shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practices to help colleges and universities best serve their students, communities, and the wider public good has never been more vital,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “We value the commitment of these leaders to help us fulfill this mission.” 

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