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Panelist Bio


John Warner Smith
CEO, Education’s Next Horizon

John Warner Smith is the founding Chief Executive Officer of Education’s Next Horizon, a statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting reforms in the public education system. He previously served as Secretary of Labor for Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco from January 2004 to November 2007.

Smith is a former banker, having worked five years as a Vice President in the government banking division of JP Morgan Chase Bank. Prior to joining Chase, he served as Assistant City Manager of Development and Transportation Services for the City of Tallahassee, Florida, where he administered the development arm of city government.

From 1989 to 1997, he served as Chief Administrative Officer for Lafayette Parish and Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government, where he oversaw all departments and led the planning and implementation of local government consolidation.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from McNeese State University He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In May 2012, he will receive the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree from the University of New Orleans.

Current Topic


05/15 - Innovation Matters

What effect does diminishing Higher Ed funding have on Louisiana research programs?

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!


06/15 - Louisiana After Ferguson (Encore Presentation)

Who polices the police in Louisiana?

Recent Topics


04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

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


03/15 - Cancer in Louisiana

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


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?

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