Edward “Smitty” Smith

Advisory Board Member

Edward “Smitty” Smith is a Partner at DLA Piper (US).  Prior to joining DLA Piper in 2017, Smith served as a legal advisor to then-Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler.  As wireless legal advisor to the Chairman, Smith oversaw FCC policymaking on such issues as 5G technology, satellites, spectrum sharing, connected and autonomous vehicle communications, and unmanned aviation systems.

A veteran staffer and attorney of the FCC, Smith was previously the chief of staff of its Incentive Auction Task Force, a multibillion-dollar radio spectrum reallocation project, the design of which earned its lead economist the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2020. In 2014, Smith was a candidate for Attorney General of the District of Columbia. Prior to the FCC, Smith was a special advisor for the U.S. Department of Commerce Telecommunications and Information Administration, and led programs to expand broadband to unserved and underserved communities. He most recently served on the FCC Review Team during the Biden-Harris transition.

Smith has also served as the Executive Director for the National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion. The plan was inspired by the life of Lewis Howard Latimer, an African-American draftsman, soldier, scientist, and researcher whose parents were born into slavery. It focused on four achievable goals: deploying networks everywhere, getting everyone connected, creating new economic opportunities to participate in the growth of the digital economy, and using the networks to improve how we deliver essential services, in particular in workforce development, health care, and education.