Policy Board

Policy Spokesperson on Elections and Democratic Renewal

Dave Smith

Solace: Team Member Photo


Policy Spokesperson on Elections and Democratic Renewal

Dave Smith
Chief Executive
Sunderland City Council



The Policy Spokesperson on Elections and Democratic Renewal provides a lead on this policy area for the Society. They also lead the relevant Policy Network


Dave Smith is the Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council. Born in Salford and educated at Sheffield University, he joined the council in 2005 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2008.

A career public servant, Dave has worked in a variety of roles including social care, housing and economic regeneration. Having completed a master’s degree at Manchester University, Dave was awarded his PhD in 1995 by the University of Warwick following a five year research programme. Dave has a particular interest in the use of new technologies to support more effective, efficient and joined-up public service delivery and has been involved in the IBM Smarter Cities programme since 2009.

Dave sits on the Government’s Local Public Data Panel, the Elections and Referendum Steering Group and the Department of Health’s Transition Board. He is a non-executive board member for the Cabinet Office Electoral Registration Transformation Board and leads on elections and democracy for Solace (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives).

Dave, in his role as Chief Executive at Sunderland, was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Key Cities group, which represents UK mid-sized cities and aims to unlock the significant growth potential such cities offer. Dave also chairs the Key Cities Chief Executive group.