WLC Names Evita Leonard Smedley Senior Director of Education, Strategy and Implementation


WLC has appointed accomplished nonprofit leader Evita Leonard Smedley as Senior Director of Education, Strategy and Implementation. Leonard Smedley most recently was the executive director of the Southeast Ministry in D.C., where she oversaw its education and mentoring programs.


In her new role, Leonard Smedley will be a key advisor as WLC looks to fortify its position supporting Washingtonians learn to read and expand to assist them in gaining math and job training skills that lead to employment success. WLC’s pivot could result in additional programs, classes and credentials and considering different organization models. In addition, there’s an increasing need for classes for English Language Learners.


“I’m excited by the possibilities for Washington Literacy Center to enhance its impact by helping even more adults overcome hurdles. We have over 100,000 adults in D.C. dealing with low literacy skills and that creates a barrier to everything they want to accomplish,” says Leonard Smedley. “This is an important time to renew and reexamine how WLC can do even more.”


Leonard Smedley also will assist WLC in partnering with academic institutions to determine how to best measure student success as well as securing the funds to accomplish these goals.


Jimmie Williams, WLC’s president and CEO, says, “We’re excited for Evita to join our team. She has a track record of over 20 years of working and advocating on behalf of vulnerable children, youth and families. She’s the perfect person to take on this senior role as we look closely at our mission. We’re ready to do even more for the District as we embark on our anniversary year.”


Leonard Smedley, before her role at Southeast Ministry, served as a nonprofit legal services director, as a legislative legal counsel, and as the founder and principal of a public policy consulting firm.


She received a degree in journalism from Howard University and a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.


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