Dr. Smith's areas of interest include policy, leadership, collaboration, and professional development in early childhood. She received her master's and doctorate in early childhood special education and public policy from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been an early childhood teacher; Executive Director of DEC; Policy Specialist, CEC; Program Specialist, OSEP; and currently, Research Professor, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado Denver. She developed the Collaborative Planning Model for cross-systems planning and has worked with NAEYC and other organizations on guidelines that support quality inclusive early childhood environments. She worked on two national TA centers related to building state capacity to address children's social emotional development and challenging behavior: the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), and the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI). She serves on the Leadership Team of the ECTA Center.