In this interview, we speak with Donald V. Smith, who is a member of IWP’s Legacy Society.
Please tell us a little about your background.
I spent time in the military as a Naval Officer after graduating from the Naval Academy. I went to Wharton for business school and received an MBA and ended up at an investment bank in New York that was a small startup. I matriculated to Morgan Stanley and Houlihan Lokey, where I retired about eight years ago.
Along the way, I got involved in national security matters with Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and some other organizations like the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for the National Interest.
I met John Lenczowski about ten years ago at a dinner and was very impressed with him. We stayed in touch for a number of years until I started to get more active with IWP, and now I’m on the Board of Trustees at IWP.
Did your time with the Navy influence your current interest in national security affairs?
I think originally it was my Naval years. Just seeing that there were certain civilian institutions that are active with national security piqued my interest. My main interests in these areas are IWP and BENS. I have been a member of BENS for about 20 years.
You have been a donor to IWP since 2010. What inspires you to give to IWP?
First of all, I’m very impressed with the graduate school and particularly the charter, which states the appropriate ways of conducting diplomacy and other matters of national security. Further, I like the objective of the school of educating people to serve the U.S. government and become their future leaders.
Why, in particular, did you choose to include IWP in your estate plans?
I wanted to see it continue. I want it to become very sustainable in the future, and that is why I’m contributing from my estate.