Alliance Names Norfolk City Manager Doug Smith as its New President & CEO

With unanimous support from its Board of Directors, Douglas L. Smith, Norfolk’s City Manager has been named the President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (the Alliance) beginning September 2019.

Alliance Chair, Brian Skinner, shared the news following a unanimous vote at the Board’s June 27 meeting. “There is simply no one more qualified for the job than Doug, who has an impeccable record of accomplishment and integrity in our community in both the public and private sectors” says Skinner. “He knows and loves economic development. He knows how to bring together people and organizations to work towards a common goal. And he loves our region.”

Smith, a native of Portsmouth, has lived and worked in Hampton Roads for the majority of his life. He was appointed as City Manager in the City of Norfolk in June 2017 after serving in the position for seven months as interim. His previous public sector experiences include serving as Deputy City Manager in the City of Virginia Beach and as Deputy City Manager, Chief Plans and Policy Officer, and Economic Development Director in the City of Portsmouth. Additionally, Smith was elected to the Portsmouth City Council in 2006, where he served four years and gained regional experience as commissioner for the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.

In the private sector, Smith served as President & CEO of Kaufman & Canoles Consulting, where he counseled national and local developers, municipalities, higher education institutions, and corporations. Smith began his career in 1985 as a banker at First Union Bank (now part of Wells Fargo) where he worked for 12 years and managed 31 offices across Hampton Roads.

Smith is a graduate of Norfolk Academy and earned a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia. He currently serves as Vice-Chair on the Alliance’s Board of Directors and previously served as Chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Hampton Roads and Chair of Future of Hampton Roads. He and his wife Linda reside in Norfolk with their two children.

The Alliance’s Interim President & CEO, Steve Herbert, said the following about his successor, “I have known and worked with Doug for the past twenty years and consider him a friend. He has a history of success in the Hampton Roads region and I have full confidence that he will continue to build and reposition the Alliance as a leading regional economic development organization.”

For more information, please click here to read a local news article about Doug and his new role at the Alliance.

Please join us in congratulating Doug Smith and welcome him to the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. Additional questions can be directed to Brian Skinner, Alliance board chair at

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