Haslam Names Stephen Smith Chief of Staff

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Stephen Smith will serve as his chief of staff to oversee day-to-day operations of the governor’s office and serve as top advisor and strategist. Smith joined the governor’s office in August 2016 and most recently served as senior advisor to the governor. He has served in the Haslam administration since 2011, previously as deputy commissioner for policy and external affairs for the Tennessee Department of Education.

“Stephen’s experience, knowledge of state government, and commitment to great outcomes make him well suited for the role of chief of staff. I greatly appreciate all he has contributed and our entire team is excited to have him in this role.” Haslam said.

Smith, 42, has played a key role in many of the administration’s major initiatives, helping shape the governor’s successful 2017 Next Tennessee legislative agenda and taking leading roles in advancing the IMPROVE Act, the governor’s signature initiative to enact the largest tax cut in state history while delivering a safe, reliable and debt-free transportation network, and developing the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, the governor’s effort to increase broadband access to Tennessee’s unserved citizens. While at the Department of Education, Smith was central in the development and advancement of several key administration policies and reforms, including enhancement of the state’s education funding formula; revisions to the state’s education accountability system; and expansion of school choice options.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of Governor Haslam’s administration for the past seven years,” Smith said. “It’s a true privilege to be able to work every day at the Capitol with this governor and the talented and dedicated team in the governor’s office. I’m looking forward to this new challenge.”

Smith, an attorney, formerly worked in private law practice as well as the nonprofit sector representing clients in both a legal and consulting capacity. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a law degree from the Nashville School of Law.

He and his wife, Christina, have three young daughters.

Jim Henry will continue to serve as deputy to the governor with Haslam administration.

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