Daniel J. Smith is an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center. Smith earned his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University and is an assistant professor of economics at Troy University. Smith's expertise lies in Austrian economics and public choice theory. He twice served as a Mackinac Center research intern.

As an undergraduate at Northwood University, Smith received two major academic awards: the Arthur E. Turner Award, which is the university’s highest honor; and the Ludwig von Mises Award, which is presented for outstanding achievement in economics. Smith’s interest in economics was sparked by Mackinac Center President Lawrence Reed’s essay “Are We Going the Way of Rome?”