Vice President of Programs
David M. Smith
As vice president of programs, David M. Smith directs the policy and strategy of the Human Rights Campaign as well as the public education programs of the HRC Foundation. He oversees efforts related to federal and state legislative goals, political action and electoral strategy, grassroots outreach, media relations and polling research.
Smith, who led communications efforts at the Human Rights Campaign from 1995 to 2003, has been interviewed extensively by national and international television, radio, online and print media. In 2004, Smith served as communications director for longtime civil rights leader Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. Further, he has spearheaded HRC's efforts on various policy initiatives, including several historic votes in Congress related to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Smith pioneered HRC's television advertising efforts, including public service spots featuring Dennis and Judy Shepard, parents of slain University of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard. In April 1997, he led HRC's ad campaign that aired during the historic coming-out episode of Ellen, the ABC television show.
Before joining HRC, Smith held a variety of positions serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. From August 1993 through June 1994, he was director of public information at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Before that, he was communications director for the Campaign for Military Service, an effort in 1993 to end discrimination against gay and lesbian people serving in the military. He also was public information director at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center and executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.