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Dec 05, 2017

Former Society president David Smith passes

Smith served as president and CEO of the Society for almost two decades

The Society for Corporate Governance has announced the passing of David Smith, who served as its president and CEO for almost two decades between 1991 and 2010. 

Smith’s career before his tenure at the Society included serving as general counsel and a director at Federated Linen & Supply Company and as corporate secretary at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Since 2010 he had worked as a corporate governance consultant.

In June 2010, Smith was awarded The Bracebridge H Young Distinguished Service Award, the Society's highest honor. ‘David’s strength and what made him the [longest-serving] president of the Society is his kindness, his caring, his ability to work with many chairmen, and to build a consensus when needed. His dedication to the organization is unmatched,’ the award dedication states. ‘He has been steadfast in his belief that the Society is here to serve its members - each one of them.’

According to the Society’s notice upon giving the award, Smith was at the time unique among its presidents – and possibly among its members – in having been a corporate secretary, general counsel, president, CEO and board member of a publicly traded company.

During his time with the group, he oversaw the launching of its first website, led the way to significant growth in membership, managed a technology overhaul of all back-office processes and managed a renaming and branding.

His industry-wide work outside the Society includes having served on the NACD’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Corporate Governance and The Conference Board’s Working Group on Communicating Corporate Performance. He also served on several SEC panels such as the Wallman Committee on Capital Formation, the ‘plain English’ task force and the Proxy Voting Review Committee.

Ben Maiden

Ben Maiden is the editor-at-large of Governance Intelligence, an IR Media publication, having joined the company in December 2016. He is based in New York. Ben was previously managing editor of Compliance Reporter, covering regulatory and compliance...