Linda K. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development
Linda K. Smith is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role she provides overall policy coordination for the Head Start and Early Head Start Program and the Child Care and Development Fund, as well as serving as the liaison with the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies. Her office serves as a focal point for early childhood policy at the federal level.
Smith previously served as the executive director for the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), where she represented more than 650 community-based agencies concerned with the care of children in their earliest years. Linda Smith led the organization through significant growth and transformation- she was the driving force behind NACCRRA's national policy agenda and strategic plan to improve the quality of child care nationwide. Key components of NACCRRA's advocacy efforts included strengthening child care licensing and oversight, requiring comprehensive background checks, and establishing minimum training requirements for all child care workers.
Prior to joining NACCRRA, Smith served as a legislative fellow and professional staffer on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under the Chairmanship of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Prior to this work, she was the director of the Office of Family Policy for the Secretary of Defense, where she was one of the primary architects of the military's child care program. Additionally, Linda Smith has held positions with both the United States Army and United States Air Force.
Smith began her career in early childhood education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in her native state of Montana. She is a graduate of the University of Montana.