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Penny Smith-Mickey, EdD

Senior Education Designer, HBCU Lead

Dr. Penny Mickey joins the Lab as an Education Designer focusing on UNCF projects and workforce development initiatives. She is an HBCU alum and former HBCU administrator with 20 years of service in government and higher education.

Her government experience spans multiple policies and programs such as: Workforce Investment Act (WIOA), Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Head Start. Her highest ranking government position was in the administration of former Kentucky Governor, Ernie Fletcher where Dr. Mickey was appointed to the position of Commissioner of the Office of Employment and Training. This agency was responsible for deploying the state’s federal Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration funding and Unemployment Insurance. Penny held senior leadership roles on two campuses first as Assistant Provost for Outreach and Extended Programs, at Kentucky State University responsible for coordinating the University’s TRIO programs, faculty development, and the Office of Continuing and Distance Education. She served as Executive Director of Academic Services at Northeast Ohio Medical University responsible for the library, assessment and held a faculty appointment as an assistant professor of family and community medicine.

Most recently, prior to joining the Lab, Dr. Mickey led an independent consulting firm that supported HBCUs and Community Colleges related to workforce development and TitleIX compliance.

Penny is a first-generation college student-athlete – graduating from Fisk University summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to complete the master’s and doctorate of education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education.