D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray appointed education consultant Abigail Smith as the District's new deputy mayor for education, the mayor announced Thursday.

A resident of Ward 1, Smith is currently the board chairman at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. She has previously served as a special assistant in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, the chief of transformation management for D.C. Public Schools and both Teach For America's vice president for research and public policy and its executive director for the District.

"I've spent enough time in District schools to see the best of the District's public education in both DCPS and public charter schools, and to know that there's an urgent need to do more as quickly as we can," said Smith, who Gray's office labeled a "reformer" in a statement released Thursday.

Smith will take over the job from Jennifer Leonard, who has been filling the position on a temporary basis since De'Shawn Wright vacated the seat last year, on April 10.