Smart. trusted. respected.
"Dave was a critical part of our team and its success. He anticipates opportunities and challenges, reading the audiences to know what to communicate, how and when. He is smart, trusted, respected and well-liked both by those in the media and throughout state government, and I valued his perspective, insight and counsel on not only communications but also policy and strategy." - Gov. Bill Haslam
David Smith is the founder and president of DAS Consulting, LLC, a single-member general consulting firm focused on strategic messaging, media relations and public affairs.
Formerly Gov. Bill Haslam's communications director, David was an advisor and strategist to the governor, Cabinet, senior staff and state departments, overseeing internal, external and crisis communications and strategy for the administration.
During his time as the administration's chief communications executive, he was also Haslam’s primary collaborator on major speeches, including the 2016 “This is What We Do” and 2017 “The Tennessee We Can Be” State of the State addresses, which lay out the governor’s $36 billion budget proposals. He managed communications strategy and execution for:
the passage of the IMPROVE Act, the governor’s combination of $500 million in tax cuts and a $350 million revenue increase for transportation projects;
the passage and implementation of Tennessee Reconnect, Gov. Haslam’s free-college initiative for Tennessee adults;
the passage and implementation of the $45 million Broadband Accessibility Act;
the successful 2016 special legislative session regarding $60 million in transportation funding; and
Haslam’s successful reform efforts around higher education and the Basic Education Program.
A native Vermonter, David has lived and worked on both coasts. He graduated from the George Washington University cum laude in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. After working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., David joined the National Journal Group’s The Hotline as a staff writer, before becoming a reporter at the San Mateo Daily News in California and then The Examiner in San Francisco, where he covered City Hall and the Mayor's Office.
After moving to Knoxville, he joined then-Mayor Bill Haslam's gubernatorial campaign in January 2010 as press secretary where he served as the primary point of contact for media during the primary and general elections and the transition while building out his media network to all 95 counties. David served as Gov. Haslam’s press secretary from January 2011 until August 2015 when he joined the governor’s cabinet as director of communications.
David and his wife, Nell, a native of Oak Ridge, have two daughters and live in Nashville.