A White House Departure

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is losing another official who has played a major role in shaping its higher education policy.

Zakiya Smith, a senior policy adviser at the White House Domestic Policy Council who has made a significant imprint on federal higher ed policy making since she graduated college just six years ago, will leave at month's end for the Center for American Progress, a think tank with historically close ties to the administration.

Smith will become director of postsecondary innovation and co-director (with Julie Morgan) of postsecondary education for the center. "We are very excited to have Zakiya join us," said Michael Ettlinger, CAP's vice president of economic policy. "She will be an incredible addition to our very talented postsecondary education team."

Smith, whose education degrees are from Vanderbilt and Harvard Universities, worked from 2009 to March 2011 in two Education Department offices where she helped formulate the administration's policies on college completion, among others. Then she became a senior policy adviser in the White House, which has played a larger role in setting higher education policy under President Obama than has historically been the case.

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