Burck Smith is a higher education innovator  and is the founder and CEO of StraighterLine. Smith was previously the CEO for SMARTHINKING, Inc. for ten years which he also founded. He has an MPP (Masters Public Policy) from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and a BA in Political Science from Williams College. 
Smith worked as an independent consultant who contracted with for-profit and non-profit educational organizations, including clients such as the Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Computer Curriculum Corporation, the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, the Milken Exchange on Education and Technology, Teaching Matters Inc., Converge Magazine and others. As a writer about education and technology issues, Burck has been published by Wired Magazine, Wired News, Converge Magazine, University Business and the National School Boards Association. In the early 1990's, he wrote articles on a variety of subjects including creating community telecommunication networks, electronic access to political information, telecommunications deregulation and the ability of utilities to serve as telecommunications service providers. 
Mr. Smith founded the State Telecommunications Policy Program at the Center for Policy Alternatives, a state- focused, Washington, D.C.-based research institute. While at the Center for Policy Alternatives, Mr. Smith published articles on local efforts to create community networks, electronic access to political information, the effect of telecommunications deregulation on the states and the untapped potential of electric utilities to served as telecommunications service providers. Mr. Smith also testified to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Elections about the potential for and barriers to electronic voting.