ABOUT KENT STRATEGIES:
We pride ourself on being creative thinkers who love a good challenge. Our clients are varied and so are our approaches. We customize everything. No templates: just hard work, creativity and an incredible desire to succeed.
We understand how to navigate and move our clients’ goals forward. We have lived and worked in Washington, DC and many other places and can understand life inside as well as outside the “Beltway”. We have sound judgment and sharp instincts for whatever a client’s situation calls for. We will do all we can to make each client engagement a great success.
ABOUT OUR DIRECTORS:
Liz Sears Smith is the Managing Director of Kent Strategies. She brings more than 25 years of management and strategic planning experience bridging the private and public sectors.
Liz served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Cabinet Secretary, managing key issues between the Cabinet and senior White House staff. In this role, Liz managed day-to-day policy development and problem solving on a large range of issues.
As Chief of Staff for former Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Liz set up and managed all operations. On a daily basis she worked closely with public and private sector constituencies. Her operation was always singled out as one of the most efficient and effective on the Hill.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce, Liz managed a division of The U.S. Commercial Service. She reinvented her division in the face of outside competition. While there, Liz spearheaded a new e-strategy, just one of her many accomplishments. She participated in various senior level conferences on globalization and trade issues, and she led several business development missions. Liz helped create unique opportunities for US companies, which saw their export sales more than quadruple under Liz’s leadership.
Liz is a member of the Public Policy Committee for Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She serves on the Leadership Council for the Impact Center, a leadership and mentoring non-profit. Additionally, she served on the selection panel for the White House Fellow’s Program and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100.
Liz is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and received her MBA from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Douglas Smith has spent the last 25 years serving at the highest levels of government in national security and the private sector and is a serial entrepreneur having helped start numerous companies. Douglas is currently a Managing Director for Kent Strategies, a strategic consulting firm, where Douglas leads the firm’s engagements with national security work and international governments. Smith brings to Kent over two decades of global experience in government relations, business development, communications, coalition building, public policy, and creating and managing public-private partnerships among Federal, State and local governments, and private industry. He has managed large-scale special projects and initiatives both within and outside of government.
Prior to joining Kent Strategies, Douglas was the Executive Vice President and General Manager for MWW PR, a leading international public relations and new media firm where he managed the Washington, DC office and was the primary client engagement manager for some of MWW’s most iconic Fortune 100 clients.
Before joining MWW, Douglas was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this role, Douglas advised the Secretary on the impact of the Department's policies, regulations, and processes globally on millions of private sector companies, universities, and not-for-profits institutions. Douglas was responsible for coordinating seamless private sector engagement across all 22 of DHS’s divisions including the Secret Service, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Smith served as the Department'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. Under his leadership, the office has dramatically expanded its global footprint resulting in Assistant Secretary Smith leading delegations throughout the United States and to over 20 countries in support of strengthening the global supply chain and promoting the Department’s position of “global security equaling economic security”. In the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Assistant Secretary Smith headed an interagency team coordinating emergency response and supporting international commerce to keep the global supply chain moving.
Prior to his appointment at DHS, Douglas was the Managing Partner of T Street Partners, where he provided clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to philanthropic and not-for-profit organizations with strategic counsel and public affairs consulting. During his time with T Street, Douglas successfully managed the winning campaign for the City of Chicago to be the U.S. Designate City for the 2016 Olympics.
Douglas came to T Street Partners from Leo Burnett Worldwide, where as a Vice President and account manager, he managed the then-new "Army of One" public relations/public affairs account for the U.S. Army.
During the Clinton-Gore Administration, Douglas served in a variety of positions including as Deputy Press Secretary as well as Director of Special Projects for Secretary Andrew Cuomo at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and then as the traveling Press Secretary for Secretary Rodney Slater at the Department of Transportation. He was also responsible for helping to manage the 50th Anniversary of NATO in Washington, D.C.
Douglas began his career in Thailand where he started an import/export company and was a frequent contributing author to Thai business magazines.
Douglas is a graduate of Beloit College where he received a bachelor's degree in international relations and Asian studies. While at Beloit, he also earned a degree from the School for International Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Douglas is a frequent public speaker both domestically and internationally and regularly appears on national television as an expert on national security and crisis management. As a lifetime dog lover, he currently serves on the board of FidoTV, a new TV start up.