NWRA Appoints Industry Advocate as New President and CEO

Arlington, VA  – June 30, 2017 – The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Darrell K. Smith as the trade association’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The NWRA Board of Trustees announced the selection following a considered and comprehensive search for a leader who understands the invaluable contributions the waste and recycling industry makes to America, who can position the organization as an advocacy powerhouse on the national, state and local stage, and who can provide direction, motivation and new energy to the mission of the trade group.

Dr. Smith has arrived at a time when the industry faces numerous challenges relative to public policy and community relations. His skill sets include public policy advocacy for heavy industry, grassroots activation, trade association management and growth, public relations, and a technical background in safety and environmental processes. His unique qualifications, coupled with past employment in the waste industry, positions him to drive industry successes in partnership with the communities that so heavily rely on efficient waste management services.

Dr. Smith stated “the waste and recycling industry is profoundly important to the functioning of society, and the complexities and challenges faced by the industry are rarely appreciated. I am proud to have been trusted with the management of the industry’s trade association, and I am ready to play a role in reenergizing staff, focusing on our mission and driving industry growth with the promotion of solutions-driven public policies.”

Ben Harvey, the NWRA Board of Trustees Chair, stated “we were looking for a proven association leader, and we have found such a person in Darrell. We are particularly pleased that he has worked previously in the waste industry, has a proven track record in association membership growth, is experienced in local community engagement, and that he possesses exceptional skills in strategic thinking and team building. We also recognized the value of his safety background.”

The appointment comes as the waste and recycling collection occupation ranks fifth in the nation for injuries, accidents and fatalities, due in large part to inattentive motorists and distracted driving. Dr. Smith had a highly successful career as a safety professional prior to entering the public policy arena, and he looks forward to playing a role in reversing the industry’s safety record.

Dr. Smith is coming to NWRA from the Industrial Minerals Association – North America, part of the mining industry, and has previously served as an industry advocate for the petroleum and chemical industries. Before entering the public policy world, he worked in several industries including hazardous waste. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Citadel, a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of South Carolina, and a doctoral degree from George Mason University in environmental conflict and public policy. He resides in the District of Columbia.

The National Waste and Recycling Association is the leading organization providing leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise for the waste and recycling industries. NWRA advocates at the federal, state and local levels on all issues of importance to our member companies as a they provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound services to communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

One thought on “NWRA Appoints Industry Advocate as New President and CEO

  1. Christopher Findlay

    Congratulations to Darrell, and to the NWRA for selecting such a competent and amiable fellow! Darrell with do an excellent job and I wish him all the best in his new position for success and representation of the industry and environmental stewardship and sustainability. Well done!


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