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Panelist Bio


Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith
(D)- Baton Rouge

State Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith has become well known in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana for
her tireless effort to champion causes she believes in. She has been a force for improving education in
public schools in East Baton Rouge Parish and the state. Smith is a former two-term president of the EBR
School Board.

The Baton Rouge native is currently serving second terms in both the Louisiana House of
Representatives and as chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

Rep. Patricia Smith attended St. Francis Xavier and Southern University Laboratory School before
graduating from Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her BS degree in Education
from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She did post graduate work at Youngstown State in Ohio and
Louisiana State University. She has taught in public schools in Ashtabula, Ohio and Baton Rouge.
Smith retired from ExxonMobil in 2003 after working 22 years there in Community Affairs.

Rep. Smith serves on the Appropriations, Education, Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and
Labor & Industrial Relations committees of the Legislature. She has many appointments, including to
the House Executive Committee and the Remedial Education Commission.

Her awards are too numerous to list here but include the first Martin Luther King Distinguished
Leadership Award in Politics, the “Fannie Lou Hamer Political Award” from Grambling University, the
Nurse-Family Partnership “Champion Award” and she was named “Legislator of the Year” by the
Louisiana School Board Association. She was recently accepted into the prestigious Henry Toll
Fellowship Program.

Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith is married to Freddie Smith Jr. They have six children and 11 grandchildren.

Current Topic


10/14 - Louisiana’s Congressional Priorities

What should Louisiana’s Congressional priorities be?

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!


11/14 - Destination: Graduation

How is Louisiana addressing its dropout problem?

Recent Topics


09/14 - Varsity, Inc.: The Business of College Sports

How big a business is college sports in Louisiana?


08/14 - Down the Road: Our Transportation Future

What should the state’s transportation priorities be?


07/14 - Defining “Dangerous”

How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others?


06/14 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (Encore Presentation)

Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization?

»»» View all Topics!
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