Media Contacts

Alan Richard

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Alan Richard is the director of communications for the Southern Education Foundation. A veteran education writer, he contributes to SEF’s mission by fostering public discourse on important education issues and highlighting SEF’s influential research, policy, and leadership programs.

As a journalist, he covered the South and rural America for Education Week. His work also has been published by The Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, The Nation and many others. He was awarded national first prizes by the Education Writers Association for his coverage of school inequality in the South and rural communities.

Alan joined SEF after serving as the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) media relations officer. Earlier in his career, he had served as SREB’s director of communications.

He also has worked with many education organizations as an independent consultant and at Hager Sharp, a public relations firm in Washington, DC.

A national board member for Parents for Public Schools and the Rural School and Community Trust, he began his career as a reporter for newspapers in his native South Carolina. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

Danielle Smith

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Danielle Smith joined the Southern Education Foundation in February 2024 as a Communications Manager on the Communications team. A seasoned marketing and communications specialist, she enhances SEF’s mission by amplifying the research, leadership, policy and advocacy work through storytelling, writing and strategic planning.

Danielle’s work has been featured by Good Morning America, MSNBC, Fortune, The New York Times and others. Prior to joining the SEF team she worked in communications at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to increase equity, improve small business opportunities and enhance Detroit neighborhoods.

Danielle is a public relations specialist, community organizer and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience. She began her career working with the Detroit City Council and has managed communications for organizations such as SEIU, Planned Parenthood, New Economy Initiative and more. Danielle received her bachelor’s degree in public relations and public affairs from Central Michigan University.