Matt Smith is the president of Catholic Advocate, a leading grassroots organization he co-founded in Washington, D.C. to engage and encourage faithful Catholics to actively participate in the political process to support elected officials and policies that remain consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Mr. Smith is also a partner in the government and public relations firm Atlas Advocacy.
Mr. Smith was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) during the administration of President George W. Bush. In this role, he was responsible for a staff of more than 40 public affairs officers, speechwriters, field directors and media specialists of the second largest cabinet department with over 250,000 employees and a $90 billion annual budget. During his tenure, he was selected to be a lifetime member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service.
Prior to working at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Smith served as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Liaison. In this role, Mr. Smith was the lead staff member responsible for Presidential events; building coalitions for Presidential priorities such as Supreme Court nominees and various policy initiatives; and continuous outreach to numerous constituency groups including conservatives, Catholics, Christian denominations, the military community, veterans, think tanks, and the Amateur and Professional Sports Community.
After completing his education at Ball State, Mr. Smith went to work as a field representative for the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee. Following the 1996 elections, he moved to Washington D.C. and began working for U.S. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana serving as Legislative Aide, Deputy Press Secretary and acting-Press Secretary. During the 1999/2000 Republican Primary, Mr. Smith was the National Deputy Communications Director and National Press Secretary for the Bauer for President Campaign. After the primaries, he joined the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign in Austin, Texas, where he served as the Midwest Media Director, responsible for all earned media in ten battleground states. He was also the Miami-Dade County Media Director during the 2000 Florida re-count activities. Through the Bush-Cheney transition, Smith worked on the Secretary of Education and Attorney General confirmation teams.
Mr. Smith is the recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award for actions on September 11th and the Department of Veterans Affairs Service Commendation.
Mr. Smith resides in Burke, Virginia outside Washington D.C. with his wife Karen and their children Carter
(daughter), Noah (son), and Avery (daughter).
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