Dottie Smith

Dottie Smith

Dallas Economic Opportunity Leadership Academy, Class of 2019-2020, Economic Opportunities Program

President, The Commit Partnership, Dallas, Texas

Dottie Smith started her career teaching early elementary school in Compton, CA and quickly grew a love for reading instruction and a deep belief in what young people are capable of when given the resources, instruction and support. She then became an instructional coach with the Teach for America – Los Angeles region, supporting the region’s secondary corps members, then worked on the national Teach for America team to help design a teacher coaching model and support teacher coaches around the country. Before moving into school leadership, Dottie co-led the Los Angeles Teach for America program team and helped ensure the region’s programmatic success. She completed the prestigious Principals’ Leadership Institute (PLI) at UCLA during this time.

Dottie also worked as an intervention coordinator at a bilingual charter school in downtown Los Angeles, then became the principal of a charter high school once moving to Las Vegas. Through a lot of hard work alongside a talented team of teachers, students and parents, under Dottie’s leadership, every student in the school’s first graduating class earned a high school diploma and admission to a two- or four-year college.

Dottie became a Partner at TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) in 2010, overseeing several teacher prep programs across the country and helping co-lead the re-design of TNTP’s Teaching Fellows model. In 2013, Dottie was promoted to Vice President, leading the organization’s teacher development strategy and expanding the organization’s reach in Nevada, California and Florida. Dottie was appointed by the Nevada State Superintendent to sit on the Nevada Teachers and Leaders Council, a group charged with the implementation of a state-wide, multiple measure educator evaluation model. She was a member of the inaugural board of Nevada’s first charter harbor master, Opportunity 180 and an inaugural member of the Leaders in Training board, a college-access program for first generation college students.

Dottie earned her BA from American University, a master’s in Education from Loyola Marymount, and a master’s in Education – School Administration from UCLA. Dottie lives in Oak Cliff with her husband of 10 years and fellow educator, Chris Smith, their daughter, Ashby, and dog, Lucky.

Dottie Smith is a member of the Dallas Economic Opportunity Leadership Academy, Class of 2019-2020, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at

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