Agency Leadership

Meet our executive team.

Tara C. Smith, Director

Tara C. Smith (she/her) started as Director of the DES in September 2021. In her role as Director, Tara drives the DES mission to strengthen the business of government. DES does this through its vision of delivering high quality and cost effective support services to state government and other public entities so they can focus on their core missions.

Ashley Howard, Chief Operations Officer (acting) and Chief Financial Officer

As acting Chief Operations Officer (COO) & Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ashley maintains a focus on operationalizing the agency strategic framework and oversees the Finance Division, which provides a full suite of budget, accounting, payroll, financial and business analysis, and financial management consulting services to DES and more than 40 smaller state agencies.

Brooke Sutherland, Chief Communications Officer (COO)

Brooke Sutherland oversees the Communications Division which handles internal and external communications including media relations, digital and visual communications, marketing, branding, events and public outreach.

Shalini Joshi, Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Shalini is responsible for supporting the technology needs of the agency along with a number of enterprise applications that support all other state agencies and local governments.

Paul Houle, Chief Strategy & Performance Officer

As the leader of the Strategy & Performance Team, Paul helps DES develop and carry out strategies to improve business performance and culture.

Related Topics