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Edward Smith

Edward "Smitty" Smith


Chair, Regulatory and Government Affairs practice

National Diversity and Inclusion Partner

Member, Executive Committee

Edward 'Smitty' Smith is the total package that brings together the bright lawyer, insightful business acumen and advocacy skills. He is comfortable in the C-suite, in the halls of gov’t, and in the courtroom. He can do it all.
The Legal 500

Edward "Smitty" Smith is a well-known and highly respected former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official.

He focuses his practice on telecommunications matters and advises clients on the full range of issues in the wireless and satellite sectors, including spectrum policy, auctions, regulatory actions, equipment approvals, rulemakings and enforcement.

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaNew York


Smitty's experience has made him a leading advisor to clients on issues before the FCC, the US Department of Justice, Congress, state regulators, and state attorneys general. Smitty recently served as a telecom subject matter expert for the Biden-Harris Transition FCC Agency Review Team. He has advised clients on major telecommunications mergers, successfully obtained regulatory merger approvals at the federal and state levels, negotiated settlements with state attorneys general, and represented clients in meetings with congressional members and staff. Smitty has also led international market entry projects in over 50 countries.

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Smitty was Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Smitty advised the FCC Chairman on wireless telecommunications, engineering and technology, and consumer affairs. Smitty also oversaw FCC policymaking on such issues as 5G technology, satellites, spectrum sharing, autonomous vehicle communications, small-cell deployment and unmanned aviation systems.

Previously, Smitty served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel of the Incentive Auction Task Force, a multibillion-dollar radio spectrum reallocation project.

Smitty is also a former Special Advisor at the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. As Special Advisor, Smitty launched the agency's State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program, a US$350 million grant program to improve the quality of broadband data nationwide.

Before entering government service, Smitty was a corporate attorney at a major international law firm. Smitty has extensive experience advising clients on general corporate matters, transactions, securities issuances, and mergers and acquisitions.

  • J.D., Harvard Law School
  • B.A., Brown University


  • Chambers USA
    • Band 3, District of Columbia Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (2021-2023)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Leading Individual, Telecoms & Broadcast: Regulatory (2023)
    • Next Generation Partner, Telecoms & Broadcast: Regulatory (2018-2022)
    • Recommended, Telecoms & Broadcast: Transactional (2018-2021, 2023)
  • Recognized as Law360's MVPs of the Year award in the Telecommunications category (2020)
  • Named to the World Economic Forum's class of Young Global Leaders (2018)
  • Named by Law360, a prominent national legal industry publication, as one of the top US lawyers under 40
  • Named to the Washington Business Journal's "40 under 40" list of accomplished young Washingtonians
  • Named by El Tiempo Latino of Washington, DC as one of the 100 most influential people for the Nation's Capital Metro Area Latinos (2017)

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Co-Chair Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation