Home Economic Development Connecticut DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith stepping down

Connecticut DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith stepping down


Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Catherine Smith will leave her post on Friday after serving for eight years.

The DECD is the state’s lead agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive position in the global economy.


Gov. Ned Lamont has not publicly commented on who could replace Smith, who was appointed to the post by former Gov. Dannel Malloy in April 2011.

Smith spearheaded a variety of programs to generate economic activity and expand business across Connecticut, including the creation of the Small Business Express program and the Manufacturing Innovation Fund.

She also took a lead role in efforts to revitalize many municipalities’ downtowns, investing in brownfield remediation and redevelopment and designing and piloting the Good to Great Grant program, which provides grants to nonprofits that sponsor cultural and historic sites in Connecticut.

Smith began her career at Aetna in 1983 and held various management positions, including investment officer and 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 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. 

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