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Dane Smith


Dane Smith has been president of Growth & Justice  since 2007.   For 30 years previously he was a prominent Minnesota journalist and covered public policy and politics at the state, local and federal government level,  for both the Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.   

Economics, social justice and the issues surrounding government's proper role in society were among Dane’s favorite issues as a news reporter and those concerns are top priorities for Growth & Justice. The organization under his leadership has conducted major public policy projects, convened diverse audiences, and helped create coalitions and partnerships aimed at a more inclusive prosperity for Minnesota.  Dane, often in collaboration with G&J staff and  Policy Fellows, has published scores of commentaries, policy briefs, and major reports in recent years, with an increasing focus on reducing economic inequality, erasing racial disparity, and investing in human capital and physical infrastructure in Minnesota.

Dane is co-author of the book, “Professor Wellstone Goes to Washington: The Inside Story of a Grassroots U.S. Senate Campaign.”  In 1989-90, Dane was the recipient of the John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists, providing a mid-career sabbatical and a year of study at Stanford University.  Dane holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of St. Thomas and an A.A. degree from Inver Hills Community College, where he also has served as an adjunct faculty member.

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