Jeffrey Smith | The New School for Public Engagement
  • Faculty

    Jeffrey Smith

    Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy, Urban Policy

    M.A. and Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis


    Jeff Smith is Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy at Milano. Jeff, who has taught political science at Washington University and Dartmouth College, teaches and researches political campaigns, urban political economy, policy advocacy, and the legislative process. At Washington University, he received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence.

    Jeff served in the Missouri Senate from 2006-2009, representing inner-city St. Louis, where he co-founded a group of charter schools called the Confluence Academies. Trading Places, his Ph.D. thesis on U.S. partisan realignment from 1975-2004, was recently published as a book, and he is currently completing a book manuscript about the politics of prison reform. In addition to writing for political science journals, he is an advice columnist for New York political publication City and State, and frequently addresses audiences of public officials on ethics in politics.

    Jeff has appeared on CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Current, and has been profiled by NPR’s This American Life, Harper’s, The New Republic, and other periodicals. He recently gave a TED talk on prison entrepreneurship, and has published op-ed pieces for CNN, The Atlantic, Inc., National Journal, Salon, Politico, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Examiner, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His youth-powered grass-roots congressional campaign was chronicled in the film Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, which was short-listed for an Academy Award.


    Courses Taught

    Power, Strategy, and Social Change
    Laboratory in Issue Analysis
    The Art of Legislating
    Campaign Management
    Political Economy of the City

    Recent Publications

    The Recovering Politician's Twelve-Step Guide to Surviving Crisis, 2013 (book)
    Trading Places: The Two Parties in the Electorate, 1975-2004 (book)
    Barking Louder: Interests Groups in the 2012 Election The Forum 2012; 10(4): 80–90
    Walking Around Money: How Machine Politics Works in America Today The Atlantic, June 12, 2013
    Can Jeb Bush Sway the GOP on Taxes, Debt? CNN, December 11, 2012.
    What's The Matter with Missouri? The Atlantic, August 24, 2012.
    Eleven Reasons Akin Won't Quit Salon, August 21, 2012.

    Research Interests

    Lobbying and Advocacy, Legislative Process, Campaign Strategy, Money in Politics, Prison Reform.

    Recent Presentations/Exhibits

    Don't Go Near the Line. Illinois County Officials Conference, April 29, 2013.
    Mortal Sin vs. Venial Sin. Harvard University Law School, January 30, 2013
    Don't Go Near the Line. Kansas County Elected Officials Conference, September 13, 2012.
    How Technology and Mis-incentives Spoil the Mother's Milk of Politics. St. Louis Ethical Society, April 22, 2012.

    Competitions and Appearances

    Up with Chris Hayes, Roundtable panelist, March 9, 2013.
    The Daily Circuit, Minnesota Public Radio, February 28, 2013.
    Tips to Avoid Scandal.The Cycle, MSNBC. February 8, 2013.
    Todd Akin and the U.S. Senate Race. Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer. Current TV. August 21, 2012.
    Lessons on Business…From Prison. TED Talk, June 8, 2012.