Public official to speak Feb. 23 as part of Black History Month

Release Date: 2/11/2014

Jason Smedley, the director of public engagement for the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and a former aide to Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, will speak at University of the Ozarks on Sunday, Feb. 23, as part of the University's Black History Month activities.

Jason Smedley

Jason Smedley, the director of public engagement for the Central Arkansas Transit Authority, will speak at Ozarks on Feb. 23.

Smedley will be the guest speaker at a 2 p.m. chapel service in Munger Chapel and will also speak at 6 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center. His visit is sponsored by the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) as well as the student organization CHANGE.

The events are free and open to the public.

Smedley, a native of Little Rock, graduated from Howard University with in 2004 and completed his MBA in 2009 with American Military University. He is currently pursuing a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law. He has more than 10 years of public service experience on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the Office of Governor Beebe. He was the special assistant for agency and legislative affairs for Gov. Beebe. He was responsible for military and veterans' affairs and Homeland Security issues.

Smedley has 13 years of continued service in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he ascended to the rank of Captain. With two tours in Iraq (2003 and 2006), he has received the Purple Heart, two Navy Commendation Medals, and a Navy Achievement Medal with combat valor. His image has been used for Marine Corps recruiting materials and posters in magazine such as Ebony, Vibe and Jet. He is currently the commanding officer of Arkansas' only reserve Marine Corps Infantry Company.

As the chairman of the National Association of Black Men United (NABMU), Smedley is dedicated to helping students graduate from college, a passion that he has dedicated himself to for more than 10 years.. He is also a volunteer firefighter at the Crystal Fire Department; a board member of Better Community Developers, Inc.; a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc.; a recent graduate of the Leadership Greater Little Rock Program with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce; and he served as an Arkansas delegate for the 2012 National Democratic Convention.