President and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters
Former United States Senator, Oregon
B.A., History, Brigham Young University
Answering the call to public service on the national level
First elected to the United States Senate in 1996 and re-elected by a wide margin in 2002, Oregon's Senator Gordon H. Smith '79, has earned a reputation as a statesman with an independent streak. His ability to build consensus and work across party lines has caught the attention of Senate leaders, who frequently tap him for key leadership and committee positions. Currently serving his third appointment as Deputy Whip, Senator Smith also serves on five major committees-Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Energy and Natural Resources; Rules; Indian Affairs; and the powerful Finance Committee-in addition to several special committees and task forces.
"As a Senator, each day I serve, I am mindful that Southwestern gave me a foundation in law necessary for success in lawmaking," Senator Smith said. "The Constitutional principles that I learned in law school are more than real - they are priceless."
Since his election to the Senate, Smith has focused on issues crucial to the health and prosperity of his constituents and the nation, supporting programs that increase funds for students, creating a pilot dropout prevention program, and working to improve access to healthcare. He has also been actively engaged in protecting Oregon's natural resources and the working families who depend on them for their livelihoods by supporting legislation that strengthens and improves the state's forests, beaches, fisheries and other resources.
Senator Smith began his career as an attorney in private practice, but soon took over the management of his family's frozen vegetable processing company. He entered politics in 1992, when he was elected to the Oregon State Senate. In his first term-while he also continued to manage his company - he was elected minority leader and then president of the State Senate.