MEET DANIEL SMITH
A social worker for over twenty years, Daniel Smith has spent his career counseling children who have been abused and helped adults with developmental disabilities reach their full potential. He helped create innovative programs to help those suffering from mental illness that became nation-wide models helping to solve problems for those who need it most.
Smith and his wife, who is an award-winning teacher, have dedicated their professional lives to supporting our community. They had their first daughter in 2007 and another daughter two years later while also caring for his wife’s high school-age sister who lived with them. As a result of the 2008 financial crisis, they lost their home, but through hard work and dedication, they dug out and got back on their feet just like many others. Smith understands firsthand what our families face, especially in the midst of this pandemic. He will be the voice we need to ensure our families and small businesses can recover because he has lived it himself and succeeded.
Daniel Smith currently manages the Southwest Washington office of a local health care non-profit. Daniel has worked on the front lines of building strong communities, been accountable for public funds, and worked in a variety of senior leadership capacities in private and public sectors.
Over the past 20+ years, Daniel has proven that he understands what it takes to build coalitions that work together to solve big problems. It is this type of measured leadership that we need in Olympia as our state faces tough decisions due to the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis and economic downturn, as well as deeply ingrained issues of racial injustice.
Daniel is a consensus-builder who listens to all sides and arrives at decisions deliberately and collaboratively, always striving for the best outcome. His expertise was instrumental in developing innovative programs for those needing mental health and substance use disorder services, as well as Intellectual and Developmentally Disabled services, so people can live independently and as full members of their communities.
Daniel is a strategic and critical thinker. He is able to connect with people, understand their needs, and develop lasting positive relationships. He treats each person in a caring and respectful fashion, and is sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity.
Daniel is a leader in Southwest Washington’s efforts to implement a vast number of necessary changes to the health care system to ensure that access to integrated healthcare is not just for some - but for everyone.
Daniel received his Masters in Social Work from Portland State University and his BA in Political Science with a minor in Sociology from Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio. He and his wonderful wife, Bethany Rivard, who has taught for 15+ years at Ft. Vancouver High School, raise their two amazing daughters in east Vancouver.
In their spare time, Daniel’s family enjoys traveling around the Northwest, baseball, hiking, camping, reading, gardening, completing puzzles, and spending time with his family, dog and chickens.