Mr Smith has served as the Trump administration’s director of urban affairs and revitalisation since day one in January 2017. His role in the White House expanded in April 2019 when he was officially named a deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, where he has worked closely with senior adviser Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law.
Over the last four years, Mr Trump has developed a soft spot for Mr Smith, calling him “my star” in meetings at the White House, the New York Times reported in a profile piece about him.
Before working for Mr Trump and Mr Kushner, Mr Smith worked for a conservative-leaning economic advocacy group connected to the political network founded by Charles and David Koch, the US oil and chemical barons who are notorious for promoting free trade and other pillars of neoliberal capitalism.
Before that, he was a legislative assistant for Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the GOP’s sole Black senator, as well as Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio.