Acting Assistant Secretary for Education and Access
Patricia Bartlett is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Education and Access for the Smithsonian Institution. She is responsible for defining the Smithsonian’s education program and reports directly to the Secretary of the Smithsonian. She concentrates her efforts on Institution-wide educational initiatives, assessment strategies and funding for programs that benefit learners of all ages. A significant focus of her work is programs and resources for K–12 teachers and students.
Bartlett oversees two of the Smithsonian’s educational organizations—Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Smithsonian Center for Digital Learning and Access—and coordinates the efforts of 32 education offices in Smithsonian museums and science centers. Bartlett also oversees the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Smithsonian Affiliations and Smithsonian Associates.
Bartlett currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Higher Education Initiatives in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access. She leads the development of innovative and strategic approaches to academic and university relations and partnerships.
From 2008 to 2015, Bartlett served as Chief of Staff to Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough and Acting Secretary Albert Horvath, where she managed the Office of the Secretary, supported leadership with policy and operations matters, and led special initiatives.
Before joining the Smithsonian, Bartlett was the director of federal relations at the Georgia Institute of Technology for more than 11 years. Before joining Georgia Tech, she maintained a government affairs and communications consulting business that included higher education institutions, technology-focused companies and nonprofit organizations. During the Carter Administration, she served as a staff assistant to the assistant secretary for conservation and solar energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Before that position, she worked on the staff of the Office of Energy Resources for the state of Georgia.
Bartlett holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Agnes Scott College, a master’s degree in urban affairs from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.
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