’s Ruth Serven Smith Selected for Global Digital Leadership Program

Ruth Serven Smith, editor of The Alabama Education Lab at, has been selected to participate in the Online News Association’s 2022 Women’s Leadership Accelerator.

Smith is one of 26 women selected from six countries to participate in the year-long program designed to advance the leadership and management skills of women driving digital innovation and to connect them to a supportive community throughout throughout their careers, according to a statement from ON ONE. The 2022 program is free and funded by the Dow Jones Foundation, with additional support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation, Tiffany Shackelford Foundation, and

“The 26 leaders selected for the 2022 cohort represent six countries and serve audiences from Birmingham, Alabama to Johannesburg, South Africa,” according to the ONA. “The majority of this inspiring group identify as women of color and bring to the cohort a range of journalism experiences. We are delighted to welcome editors, managers, producers, founders, directors and journalists specializing in local news, products, operations, partnerships, audience, digital strategy, AI , immersive storytelling and visual and audio production.

Smith grew up in Oklahoma, attended the University of Missouri. She worked as an education and health reporter and editor in Charlottesville, Virginia, before joining in 2020.

At, Smith led the development and operation of the website’s Alabama Education Lab, a team of journalists who develop conversations to help Alabama’s education system be the best for all children in understanding our common issues, analyzing best practices, highlighting what’s working, hearing diverse perspectives and digging behind the data to understand trends. The lab operates in partnership with Report For America. Learn more about the team here and help support their work here.

Kevin E. Boling