Denise Lynn Nappier
State of Connecticut Office of the Treasurer
Denise Lynn Nappier is the first African American woman elected to serve as a state treasurer in the United States and the first African American woman elected to a statewide office in Connecticut. She was elected in 1998 and reelected in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Nappier is also the only woman to be elected treasurer in Connecticut history.
Since she took office in 1998, Nappier’s accomplishments have been extraordinary. In addition to overseeing $52 billion in state funds, she has saved Connecticut citizens and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. The asset recovery and loss prevention program that she established, the first of its kind in treasury history, has recovered nearly $1 billion. Nappier also initiated and successfully led efforts to establish a tax deduction for Connecticut families who contribute to CHET college savings accounts in order to encourage Connecticut residents to save for higher education; this program has become one of the most accessible and affordable college savings programs in the country. In addition, Nappier was the architect of a coalition of housing, business, community and municipal leaders to establish the Housing Trust Fund for Growth and Opportunity, aimed at increasing affordable housing for working families in Connecticut. She was also the original proponent who worked with legislators to enact Connecticut’s landmark Gift Card Law, which prohibits expiration dates and non-use service fees on gift cards sold in Connecticut.
Throughout her administration, Nappier has served as a catalyst and effective advocate for financial literacy for people across the state, working with the private sector and community- and faith-based organizations to expand financial education programs. She also led efforts to create Connecticut’s Individual Development Account program, a matched savings program designed to help working families attain financial goals.
The Nappier administration has shattered numerous records in returning unclaimed assets to rightful owners. The state’s Second Injury Fund, which administers injured workers’ claims, has not raised assessments on Connecticut businesses for 13 consecutive years, saving Connecticut businesses $653 million. In addition, Nappier’s ingenuity and leadership in the management of the state’s debt program have saved Connecticut taxpayers more than $657 million.
Nappier is one of the nation’s leading institutional investors working for corporate reform on issues including executive compensation, conflicts of interest in accounting practices, independence and diversity of board members, and disclosure of financial risks of climate change. She proposed and co-chaired the Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk, held at the United Nations in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2010.
Widely respected by her peers, Nappier served five terms as treasurer of the National Association of State Treasurers and is a board member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Connecticut Chapter, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. The Hartford native previously served as Hartford city treasurer for nearly 10 years, and as executive director of Hartford’s Riverfront Recapture.
Nappier was named as one of the nation’s “100 Most Influential People in Finance” by Treasury & Risk Management magazine (2006 and 2010) and one of the “50 Most Powerful Black Women in Business” by Black Enterprise. She has also received the Corporate Responsibility Leadership Award from Citizens for Economic Opportunity (CEO), the National Association of Investment Companies Pacesetter Award, and the Good Housekeeping magazine Award for Women in Government in recognition of her advocacy of responsible corporate behavior and high ethical standards. In 2008, she received the prestigious Legend Award from Plan Sponsor magazine.
She holds a B.A. from Virginia State University and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. She holds honorary degrees from Teikyo Post University, Trinity College, Briarwood College, the University of Hartford and the University of Saint Joseph.