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Barbara Smith, Ph.D.

Barbara J. Smith, Ph.D., received her master’s in early childhood special education and her doctorate in special education and public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has held early childhood and early childhood special education positions for the past 20 years, including: policy specialist, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Headquarters; program specialist, U.S. Office of Special Education Programs; project director, Alaska Early Childhood State Planning Grant; senior researcher, Research Institute for Preschool Mainstreaming; and private consultant on state and national early childhood policy.

Dr. Smith’s area of expertise is early childhood special education public policy development. She worked in Governmental Relations at CEC Headquarters for six years and has specialized in state policy for over ten years. She currently is Associate Research Professor of Education at the University of Colorado at Denver and is Executive Director of CEC’s Division for Early Childhood (DEC). Dr. Smith has been a primary teacher and has authored many journal articles, chapters, monographs, and the Administrators Policy Handbook for Preschool Mainstreaming. She currently directs DEC’s Recommended Practices and Bridging the Gap projects and an IDEA Partnership project.