Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy
Fanton Hall/Welcome Center
Jeff Smith is Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy at Milano. Jeff, who has also taught 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 St. Louis City, where he co-founded a group of charter schools called the Confluence Academies. He has written two books as well an an e-book: Trading Places, his Ph.D. thesis on U.S. partisan realignment from 1975-2004, Mr. Smith Goes to Prison (St. Martin's, 2015), a narrative nonfiction account of his time in prison, and Ferguson in Black and White, an historical analysis of the roots of Ferguson, Missouri's unrest. His original research and book reviews have been published in various political science journals, including Political Research Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, and The Forum.
Jeff frequently appears on MSNBC and has been profiled by NPR’s This American Life, Harper’s, The New Republic, and other periodicals. He addresses audiences of public officials on ethics in politics, and his TED talk on prison entrepreneurship has been viewed over a million times. His op-eds have been published by The New York Times, The New Republic, CNN.com, The Atlantic, Inc., National Journal, Salon,Politico Magazine, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and the Chicago Tribune. The film Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, which was short-listed for an Academy Award, chronicled his youth-powered grass-roots congressional campaign. He currently serves on the national advisory boards of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and American Prison Data Systems.
B.A., African-American Studies and Political Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, University of North Carolina, Spring 1996.
M.A., Political Science, Washington University. Spring 1999
Ph.D., Washington University. Spring 2005; Major fields: American Politics and Public Policy
Prison Entrepreneurship Program, National Advisory Board
American Prison Data Systems, Board of Advisors
· “Race & Ethnicity in Urban Politics,” in Guide to Urban Politics and Policy, Sage/CQ Press, 2016. (with Christina Greer)
· Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What My Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America’s Prison Crisis. (St. Martin’s, September 2015)
· “Passion or Dollars? How Mobilization Can Sour the Mother’s Milk of Politics.” Political Research Quarterly
· “The Nuts Hated Him: How the Bush Dynasty’s Evolution Explains American Politics.” Salon
· Ferguson in Black and White. Kindle Single
· “Anatomy of a Comeback.” Politico Magazine
· “In Ferguson, Black Town, White Power.” New York Times
· “You Can’t Understand Ferguson Without Understanding These Three Things.” The New Republic
· “Chris Christie is Toast.” Politico Magazine
· “Interest Groups & SuperPACs in the 2012 Election.” The Forum (with David Kimball)
· “Walking Around Money: How Machine Politics Works in America Today.” The Atlantic
· “Don’t Go Near the Line,” in The Recovering Politician’s 12-Step Program to Survive Crisis.
· “What’s The Matter with Missouri?” The Atlantic
· “Eleven Reasons Akin Won’t Quit.” Salon
· “Twelve Tips for Blagojevich.” Chicago Tribune
“Lessons on Business…From Prison.” TED Talk
· “Nerding Out with Dorian Warren.” MSNBC. April 15, 2015.
· “All In with Chris Hayes,” MSNBC. March 12, 2015.
· “Inside City Hall.” New York One. March 12, 2015.
· “All In with Chris Hayes,” MSNBC. February 3, 2015.
· “The Cycle.” MSNBC. November 25, 2015.
· “Return of the Ferguson War Zone?” Democracy Now. November 18, 2014.
· “All in with Chris Hayes.” MSNBC, November 11, 2014.
· “The Cycle.” MSNBC, November 11, 2015.
· “Krystal Clear.” MSNBC. October 8, 2014.
· “Real Money with Ali Veshi.” Al-Jazeera America. August 20, 2014.
· “The Cycle.” MSNBC. August 19, 2014.
· “Is There a Culture of Poverty?” Huffington Post Live, April 1, 2014
· Host, SiriusXM's “Polioptics.” Clips here, here, here, here, & here.
· “All In with Chris Hayes,” MSNBC. January 23, 2014.
· “All In with Chris Hayes,” MSNBC. January 20, 2014.
· “Up,” MSNBC, December 14, 2013. Clips here, here, here, here, here, and here.
· “Up,” MSNBC, September 22, 2013. Clips here, here, and here.
· “Up,” MSNBC, March 9, 2013.
· “Tips to Avoid Scandal.” The Cycle, MSNBC. February 8, 2013.
· “Todd Akin & the U.S. Senate Race.” Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer, Current, August 21, 2012.
· “Dylan Ratigan Show.” MSNBC, February 8, 2011.
Lobbying and Advocacy, Campaign Strategy, Money in Politics, Incarceration
Political Economy of The City
Power Strategy & Social Change
Incarceration in NYC
Managing Campaigns and Running for Office
The Art of Legislating
Laboratory in Issue Analysis