top of page

Get to Know the Groundwork Team

Jason Smith & Devin Keithley

Our Executive Director...


Jason ensures that Groundwork consistently achieves its mission and leads a statewide advocacy effort to achieve the organization’s strategic goals.

Prior to joining Groundwork, Jason served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Superintendent of Columbus City Schools, Ohio's largest school district with over 50,000 students, a $1.3 billion operating budget, and over 10,000 total employees. He advised and collaborated with the Superintendent and Board of Education in the development of the district’s vision, goals, budget and strategic plan.

As an ambassador, responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with education stakeholders, business partners, and elected officials at every level of government, his leadership experience and relationship-building skills enabled him to successfully establish and meet goals within a complex, diverse network of internal and external stakeholder groups to benefit the school district.

Previously, Jason also served in Governor Ted Strickland's administration as the Legislation Director at the Ohio Department of Taxation—successfully advocating for issues critical to state and federal tax policy and economic development initiatives. In this capacity, he also utilized his skills as a manager, communicator, and coalition-builder to lead his legislative team in the expansion of several tax policy initiatives and economic development programs. Such accomplishments included the expansion of the state’s job retention, venture capital, and historic building tax credit programs.

Jason attended Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies where he earned his Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration. Jason is also an alum of Western Kentucky University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History and Government. >> Find Jason on Linked In

Our Policy Associate...


Prior to joining Groundwork, Devin worked as a Senior Research Associate for Community Research Partners, a nonprofit research center based in Columbus that works to strengthen communities through data, information, and knowledge. He conducted surveys and focus groups, collected and analyzed secondary data, created maps and infographics, and designed and authored research reports for a wide variety of government and nonprofit clients—including the Early Learning and Development County Profiles for the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association.

Specializing in indicators and benchmarking, Devin led the Benchmarking Central Ohio project for the Columbus Foundation and the Columbus Partnership, and the Global Report for the Columbus Council on World Affairs. He also served as the liaison to the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.Devin is also as a freelance graphic designer.

Previously, he worked as a Senior Graphic Designer for NAVTEQ (currently known as HERE), a provider of geographic information systems data and content for electronic navigable maps, and as a Production Assistant for the World Bank.

Devin has a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University as well as Master’s Degree in Geography from The George Washington University. He also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography with a double minor in International Relations and German from Bucknell University. >> Find Devin on Linked In

bottom of page