MWW taps Smith as EVP, GM for Washington

WASHINGTON: MWW has brought on Douglas Smith, former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security's private sector, to serve as EVP and GM of its DC office.

WASHINGTON: MWW has brought on Douglas Smith, former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security's private sector, to serve as EVP and GM of its Washington, DC office.

Smith, reporting directly to MWW president and CEO Michael Kempner, will lead the agency's Washington operations as it looks to expand its public affairs and government relations practice. He started in the role on Monday. 

“The DC office is taking off and growing like crazy, so I will be continuing to recruit good talent here to enhance our offering to the clients we already have, growing our government relations business in the public affairs space, and providing better connectivity with our other nine offices,” Smith said.

The EVP and GM position was previously filled by Marilyn Thompson, who transitioned to a new role within MWW as non-executive chairman of the company's Washington, DC office in July. 

Smith said that MWW will actively look to hire more PR professionals for its Washington office in 2014.

In addition to serving as assistant secretary, Smith previously held the roles of the Department of Homeland Security's representative on the President's Travel and Tourism Advisory and Export Promotion Boards, the White House Business Council, the President's Job Council, and the World Economic Forum Risk Officers Community.

“If anyone can survive the DHS, you can go off to run anything,” said Smith. “I had to [handle] every breaking issue the DHS dealt with, like cyber issues, cargo security issues, and aviation security.” 

Prior to working for the Department of Homeland Security, Smith was the managing partner of T Street Partners, where he led the winning campaign for the City of Chicago to be the US Designate City for the 2016 Olympics.

He has also served in senior-level positions at Leo Burnett Worldwide and Burson-Marsteller.

During the Clinton-Gore Administration, Smith was deputy press secretary and director of special projects for Secretary Andrew Cuomo at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was also the traveling press secretary for Secretary Rodney Slater at the Department of Transportation.

Last month, MWW promoted Doug O'Reilly to SVP of research and insights.

The agency was also brought on in October by Westwood One – formerly known as Dial Global – to provide communications support as the radio programming syndication company rebrands and is acquired by broadcaster Cumulus Media.

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