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Press Release: Andrew Smarick Elected Maryland State Board President

Dr. S. James Gates Re-Elected Vice President

For Immediate Release                                      Contact: William Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (July 26, 2016)

The Maryland State Board of Education today unanimously elected education policy expert Andrew R. Smarick as president, and University of Maryland Professor S. James Gates, Jr. as vice president.

Smarick is a Partner​ ​at​ ​Bellwether​ ​Education Partners, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving K-12 education, particularly for disadvantaged students.​ ​Previously, he was 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, Maryland with his wife and three children.

Dr. Gates, a theoretical physicist, received two B.S. degrees and a Ph.D. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral thesis was the first thesis at MIT to deal with supersymmetry. He also completed postgraduate studies at both Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). Dr. Gates is currently a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Center for String and Particle Theory Director, and serves on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). He is known for his work on mathematical physics.

In 2013, President Obama awarded Dr. Gates the National Medal of Science, the highest recognition given by the U.S. to scientists. That year, he also was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American physicist so recognized in its 150-year history. Dr. Gates is married to Dr. Dianna Abney, the Charles County Health Officer.  They have a daughter and a son and reside in Prince George’s County.

Smarick succeeds Guffrie Smith, a retired educator who served one term as president.  Smith remains as a member of the State Board.