Smith, Vice Chair
Commissioner, Department of Economic and Community Development
Catherine Smith is commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the lead state agency responsible for attracting and retaining businesses and jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, expanding affordable housing opportunities and fostering appropriate development in Connecticut’s towns and cities. Governor Dannel P. Malloy appointed her to the position in April 2011.
Prior to joining DECD, Commissioner Smith had a distinguished career in the insurance and financial services industry.
She began her career at Aetna in 1983 and held various management positions, including chief financial officer for Aetna Financial Services. Later, at ING, she served in numerous leadership positions, including chief operating officer for ING U.S. Financial Services; president of Health, Education and Government Distribution; and CEO of the U.S. Insurance businesses. In 2008 Smith was named CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services, one of the largest defined contribution plan managers in the United States, with more than $280 billion in assets under management and administration.
Smith has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences and in the media and has been named to U.S. Banker magazine’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Nonbank Women in Finance” and The 401kWire’s “100 Most Influential Pople in Defined Contribution.” Smith is vice chair of Outward Bound, USA. She also serves as chair of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.
Smith graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and received a master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut.