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Dr. Tony Smith

Venture Partner, Education

Dr. Tony Smith is a Venture Partner in the Education Practice of RIDGE-LANE LP.

Dr. Smith is the Superintendent of the State of Illinois, where he provides leadership and resources to achieve excellence across all Illinois districts by engaging legislators, school administrators, teachers, students, parents, families, and other stakeholders in formulating and advocating for policies that enhance education, empower districts, and ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

Prior to, Dr. Smith was the Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District, where he helped improve academic outcomes, district finances, family engagement and organizational coherence.

Dr. Smith served as Deputy Superintendent for the San Francisco Unified School District, where he led efforts to close the achievement gap.  He also served as Superintendent of the Emery Unified School District. He previously led the Math, Science and Technology Initiative at the Emeryville Citywide Initiative. He oversaw several major programs at the former Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, now known as the National Equity Project.

Dr. Smith earned his Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was captain of the football team.  He went on to earn his Master's and Doctorate degrees in the Division of Language, Literacy and Culture from University of California’s Graduate School of Education.

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