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Panelist Bio


John Warner Smith
Secretary of Labor Louisiana Department of Labor

John Warner Smith has been appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Labor.

His background features an array of high-profile positions of public trust, with noteworthy accomplishments in both the public and private sector.

In his most recent position, Smith served as vice president of Bank One where he was responsible for developing and managing banking relationships with public and non-profit clients such as universities, state agencies and local governments in four metropolitan markets.

He also served as Assistant City Manager of Development and Transportation Services for the City of Tallahassee, Fla. In this position he administered the development arm of the city, comprising the departments of growth management, planning, public works, economic development, aviation and transit.

Smith's previous positions include Chief Administrative Officer with Lafayette Parish Government/Lafayette Consolidated Government and Economic Development Manager for the City of Lafayette. He also served as Undersecretary of the Louisiana Department of Labor.

Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from McNeese State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

His affiliations include: Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, Board of Trustees; Leadership Louisiana, Council for a Better Louisiana; and Leadership Lafayette, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

Current Topic


03/15 - Cancer in Louisiana

Why is Louisiana’s cancer death rate so much higher than the rest of America?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?

Recent Topics


02/15 - Dollars per Barrel: Oil Prices & Louisiana

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana from the drop in prices?


01/15 - Louisiana After Ferguson

Who is policing the police in Louisiana?


12/14 - Decoding Common Core (Encore Presentation)

What do Louisiana educators, parents and students think about Common Core?


11/14 - Destination: Graduation

How is Louisiana addressing its dropout problem?

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