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Burck Smith is the chief executive officer and founder of StraighterLine. Founded in 2009 and based in Baltimore, StraighterLine has enrolled over 75,000 students and offers affordable, online early college courses that help students lower the cost and risk of earning a degree and colleges attract and retain students. Ten years before founding StraighterLine, he co-founded SMARTHINKING (now a Pearson company), the largest online tutoring provider for schools and colleges. Between 2009 and 2012, Burck wrote chapters for three books on post-secondary and K-12 education policy for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Prior to starting SMARTHINKING, Burck was independent consultant and journalist whose clients included 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, Wired Magazine, Wired News, University Business, the National School Boards Association and more. In the early 1990's, he founded the Telecommunications policy program for the Center for Policy Alternatives where 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. Burck also serves as a board member for Heliocampus, an early stage company providing institutional analytics solutions for colleges. Burck holds a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College. He is a Fellow of the 20th class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.