Widely regarded as one of the state’s most capable and accomplished managers, Tina Smith has spent the last three decades bringing people together to accomplish big things for her community and the people of Minnesota.
Tina Smith’s personal and professional experiences have uniquely prepared her to be a strong and effective Lieutenant Governor. From her time as a marketing professional at General Mills, to owning her own small business, to managing non-profit organizations, to more than a decade of accomplished service in the public sector, Tina has consistently demonstrated her unique ability to solve problems, develop consensus, and deliver results.
For the last three years, Tina has served as Governor Mark Dayton’s Chief of Staff where she has been a driving force behind Governor Dayton’s agenda to build a Better Minnesota – making investments and reforms that have improved the lives of Minnesotans.
These successful initiatives have helped save families $2,500 a year by making free all-day kindergarten a reality for all Minnesota kids, delivered the largest financial aid increase in a generation that will help 100,000 students and will freeze college tuition at state colleges and universities, turned a $6 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus, and helped businesses create more than 133,000 jobs since January 2011.
Tina has been instrumental in helping Governor Dayton strengthen Minnesota’s economy through job creation and economic development. Tina personally led the effort to make the first-of-its-kind Destination Medical Center in Southeastern Minnesota a reality. That project will generate more than 30,000 new jobs and leverage over $5 billion of local and private investment in Minnesota’s economy over the next two decades.
Tina has also led the administration’s efforts to build a better government to serve the people of Minnesota – implementing key reforms that have saved taxpayers billions of dollars, significantly reduced wait times for job-creating environmental permits, enhanced accountability in state government, and improved essential services for Minnesotans.
Prior to her time in the Governor’s Office, Tina Smith served as Chief of Staff to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. Tina led Mayor Rybak’s efforts to make city government more focused on accountability and results and deliver better services for residents. She also successfully worked to bring business and community leaders together from across the region to help improve the economic competitiveness of the Twin Cities.
Before entering public service, Tina founded a marketing and communications firm that served foundations and businesses in Minnesota and across the country. Tina served on the senior management team of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota as Vice President for External Affairs. She has also advised candidates for public office in dozens of local, state, and national campaigns.
Tina is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She later went on to earn an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Prior to attending college, Tina worked on the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and earned money in high school working in a donut shop.
Tina lives in Minneapolis with her husband Archie. They have been married for over 29 years and have two grown sons Sam and Mason.