Dr. Laurie Smith of Mississippi to be the Director of the Women’s Bureau, Department of Labor.

According to the White House release, Dr. Smith is the former Executive Director of the State Workforce Investment Board and Senior Education Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant. 

She led numerous legislative efforts to help improve public education in Mississippi. Legislation including the Literacy Based Promotion Act, Early Childhood Education, Dyslexia Scholarships and assistance for children with special needs have all resulted in improved outcomes for Mississippi students and families.  Dr. Smith formerly served as the Executive Director of the State Early Childhood Advisory Council (SECAC) and has led the council to developing the Family Based Unified and Integrated State Plan providing a two-generational approach to helping working families. 

Dr. Smith helped to implement the MSWorks award winning technology, connecting job seekers with real-time employment opportunities.  Mississippi currently has the longest sustained period of employment growth recorded in the last 20 years, with more than 50,000 individuals added to the labor market since 2012.   In 2018, Dr. Smith testified before the Congressional House Committee on Education and Workforce on strengthening welfare to work polices resulting in additional funds for families. 

She is a former elementary classroom teacher, adjunct faculty member and researcher at Mississippi State University.  Dr. Smith has a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University, a M.Ed. from Western New Mexico University, and a B.A. from the University of Arizona.   

The United States Women’s Bureau is an agency of the United States government within the United States Department of Labor. The Women’s Bureau works to create parity for women in the labor force by conducting research and policy analysis, to inform and promote policy change, and to increase public awareness and education.