ERS Team

Joseph Trawick-Smith


Joseph has been a member of the ERS consulting team since 2012. Over the last decade, he has worked on dozens of consulting engagements with large urban districts and state education agencies around the country, providing analytic support and strategic counsel on issues as diverse as school portfolio redesign, continuous improvement, weighted student funding, and state-level data strategy. In his tenure at ERS, he has served as a formal and informal organizational leader, playing instrumental roles in ERS’ Consulting and State Practice Areas, and internal initiatives to improve Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion and Equity.  

As the leader of ERS’ School Portfolio Practice Area, Joseph has extensive expertise in “student-centered” approach to school portfolio planning. Through this approach he has supported district leaders nationally in grounding decisions about the size, grade configuration, location, and design of schools in a vision for aspirational student experiences. Most recently, he has led the organization’s effort to develop strategies for designing high-quality and financially sustainable small school models to mitigate the disproportionate impact of school closure on historically underserved communities.

During the 2021-22 school year, Joseph took a hiatus from his role at ERS to join the Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) Finance Team, where he served as an strategic advisor to the Chief Operating & Finance Officer. Over the course of the year, Joseph helped TPS reorganize district resources to support the rollout of a new 5-year strategic plan, identify resource shifts to address a long-standing structural deficit, define and communicate its ESSER investment strategy, and institute new processes for financial reporting and central budget development.  

Prior to his life as a resource consultant, Joseph lived in New York where he pursued studio art and worked an assortment of jobs, including helping to rent and design stages for the entertainment industry. He was introduced to the field of education through an Education Pioneers Fellowship, during which he helped City Year devise a data infrastructure strategy.

Joseph holds an MBA from Babson College, where he focused on Corporate Finance and Social Entrepreneurship. When he’s not advising school districts, he is usually with his wife and dog enjoying the great outdoors.

Previous Experience

Strategic Advisor to the Chief Operating & Finance Officer
Tulsa Public Schools

Data Strategy Intern
City Year

Assistant Manager
Steeldeck NY, Inc.


MBA, Corporate Finance
Babson College

BA, Psychology & Art
Drew University


We welcome the opportunity to partner with your district to better align resources and generate a significant impact for your students, your schools, and your communities.