Jon Fansmith

Senior Vice President, Government Relations and National Engagement

Jonathan Fansmith directs ACE’s comprehensive efforts to engage federal policymakers on a broad range of issues including student aid, government regulation, scientific research, and tax policy. His work involves representation before the U.S. Congress, administrative agencies, and the federal courts. As an expert voice on behalf of colleges and universities, he is quoted widely in national and international media on higher education issues.

Fansmith plays a central part in developing public policy positions that impact all colleges and universities, furthering ACE’s historic role in coordinating the government relations efforts of approximately 60 associations in the Washington-based higher education community.

Fansmith and ACE’s Government Relations and Public Affairs team, under the direction of then Senior Vice President Terry W. Hartle, received the 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award from NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education in recognition of their public policy advocacy on behalf of the entire higher education community, particularly in response to the crisis the COVID-19 pandemic has posed for institutions and students.

Fansmith coordinates the efforts of the Student Aid Alliance, a coalition of over 80 higher education organizations. He is a member of the Think College National Coordinating Center Accreditation Workgroup, which was created as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. He also serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Education Investment and the advisory board of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. Fansmith was formerly the president and an executive committee member of the Committee for Education Funding.

His writing has appeared in publications ranging from The Washington Post to The Journal of College and University Law, and he has appeared in The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Politico, Roll Call, Bloomberg, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio, USA Today, National Journal, and Inside Higher Ed, among other media outlets. In addition, he co-hosts ACE’s dotEDU podcast. Fansmith regularly contributes to other higher education podcasts and webinars, and he is a frequent speaker for association, academic, and corporate audiences.

Fansmith earned a BA in history from Georgetown University and an MA in government from Johns Hopkins University.