Tara C. Smith, Director
Governor Jay Inslee appointed Tara C. Smith as Director of the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Sept. 7, 2021, and she was confirmed by the Washington Senate March 2, 2022. As a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, Tara drives the mission of DES to strengthen the business of government.
With more than 900 employees across many diverse business lines, DES delivers cost-effective central support services that meet the needs of customers throughout state and local governments, so they can focus on their core missions. Tara oversees DES’ $280 million operating budget, and a capital program of $1.2 billion through many different programs, including centralized procurement, facilities management, real estate, printing and mailing, surplus equipment disposition, public works capital projects, risk management, fleet management, workforce support and development, care and custody of the country’s largest state capitol campus, and the support of small agencies.
Tara has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in the public sector. Prior to coming to Washington, Tara was the Director of the Internal Services Department for Miami-Dade County, Florida, where she led one of the county’s largest operational agencies. She spearheaded the first social infrastructure public-private partnership project in the southeast region and established the county’s first public-private partnership office for future development of critical infrastructure.
Tara is a dedicated mentor and advocate for social justice, equity, and inclusion of minorities, and for women in leadership roles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and a Master of Public Administration from Florida International University, where she was recently awarded the Public Service Distinguished Alumni Award. She is also certified by the Project Management Institute.
Tara lives in Pierce County with her wife, Monica. While she spends most of her free time in volunteer work, she also enjoys yoga and is a certified yoga teacher.