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Andrew Smarick Re-Elected Maryland State Board President

Chester Finn Re-Elected Vice President

BALTIMORE – The Maryland State Board of Education today unanimously re-elected Andrew R. Smarick as president, and re-elected Chester Finn as vice president.

Smarick is the Morgridge Fellow in Education at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). In addition, Smarick has been an education aide at the White House Domestic Policy Council and Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. Earlier in his career, he served as a legislative aide to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland and members of the Maryland General Assembly. He also served as Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education.

Smarick was a member of Governor Robert Ehrlich’s Commission on Quality Education. He helped found a college-preparatory charter school and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and was a founding board member of 50CAN. A product of Maryland’s primary and secondary public schools, Smarick earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude and with honors, from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in public management from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. He lives in Stevensville with his wife and three children.

Dr. Finn has devoted his career to improving education in the United States. He is the Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

Finn served as Fordham’s President from 1997 to 2014, after many earlier roles in education, academe and government. From 1999 until 2002, he was John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and previously at Hudson Institute. In 1992-94, he served as founding partner and senior scholar with the Edison Project. He was Professor of Education and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University from 1981 until 2002. From 1985 to 1988, he served as Assistant Secretary for Research and Improvement & Counselor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. Earlier positions include Staff Assistant to the President of the United States; Special Assistant to the Governor of Massachusetts; Counsel to the U.S. Ambassador to India; Research Associate at the Brookings Institution; and Legislative Director for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

For more than 40 years, Finn has been in the forefront of the national debate about school reform. His participation in seminars, conferences, and hearings has taken him to colleges, education and civic groups, and government organizations throughout the world. He is the author or co-author of more than 20 books.

A native of Ohio, he holds an undergraduate degree in U.S. history, a master’s degree in social studies teaching, and a doctorate in education policy, all from Harvard University. Dr. Finn and his wife, Dr. Renu Virmani, a physician, have two grown children and three adorable granddaughters. They live in Chevy Chase.


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