Community Resources, Commissions & Advisory Boards, Affordable Housing Commission|

Commissioner Ryan Smith

Ryan J. Smith

Commissioner

Dr. Ryan J. Smith is the Chief Strategy Officer for Community Coalition. Founded by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass thirty years ago, Community Coalition (CoCo) has been a part of Los Angeles’ political and movement landscape for three decades. CoCo was founded intentionally as an African American and Latino organization and has been at the forefront of efforts locally at the school board, city, county, state, and federal levels to advance racial and economic justice. In this role, Dr. Smith supports the policy, advocacy, organizing, and power-building efforts of Community Coalition. Before joining the Community Coalition, Ryan was the Chief External Officer for LA Unified School District’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, overseeing the organization’s development, communications, policy and advocacy, and family and community engagement initiatives.

Before that, Ryan served as the Executive Director of the Education Trust-West and Vice President of Strategic Advocacy for the Education Trust, a national education civil rights organization dedicated to closing opportunity gaps. At The Education Trust-West, he worked on producing actionable, accessible research and advocacy tools that reached state policymakers and on-the-ground community advocates and education leaders alike. Ryan also led the team’s development and production of Black Minds Matter: Supporting the Educational Success of Black Students in California and The Majority Report: Supporting the Educational Success of Latino Students in California.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Doctorate of Education from UCLA. Dr. Smith is a Senior Fellow for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and previously served as a National Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow. Recently, Mayor Karen Bass appointed him as Affordable Housing Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles. His research on the impact of distance learning on Black students and their families will be published in an upcoming book Diversity in Higher Education Remote Learning: A Practical Guide.

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