Prior to serving as Commerce director, she served as chancellor of Washington State University, where she led the health science campus in Spokane.
Lisa served in the Washington State Legislature from 1996 – 2013 in the Senate where she was majority leader and chaired the Rules Committee, Ways and Means Committee, and Energy, Technology and Telecommunications Committee. She served in the state House of Representatives from 1993 – 1996, where she was minority whip and minority floor leader.
She has worked extensively on economic development in Eastern Washington and on gender equity.
Prior to state office, she was an associate professor of economics at Eastern Washington University and an associate professor of leadership at Gonzaga University.
Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Illinois and her master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Connie Robins joined the Department of Commerce in May 2012 and serves as Deputy Director. She has a background in finance, experience as a CPA in a regional firm, and has worked with state and local governments as a regional audit manager with the state Auditor’s Office. Among her other duties at Commerce, Connie is responsible for lean performance management.
Connie has held leadership positions in both state and local governments, including assistant director of Administrative Services at Commerce and for the Department of Consolidated Technology Services, chief administrative officer of Lewis County, and deputy director at the Health Care Authority.
Connie lives in the small town of Toledo with her husband, children and grandchildren.
Assistant Director, Local Government Division
Assistant Director, Energy Division
Assistant Director, Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness
Assistant Director, Community Services and Housing Division
Policy and Planning Director
Cheryl Smith leads the agency’s Policy and Planning Team, responsible for supporting policy development throughout the agency, enterprise initiatives, tribal and diverse community relations, new projects and ideas, legislative support and strategic planning.
Cheryl joined Commerce’s Director’s Office in 2008 and has been a long-time public servant working in leadership positions in state and local government, with a track record of leading innovative and collaborative efforts to address challenging problems and potential opportunities.
Cheryl values working with the talented people at Commerce, and with our committed stakeholder communities, to support thriving communities and families across the state. She earned a Master of Public Administration, undergraduate degrees in political science and social sciences, and several certifications in coaching and considers herself a lifelong learner.
Assistant Director, Administrative Services
Martin joined Commerce in 2015 and leads the Administrative Services Division, which includes accounting, budget, contracts, human resources, information technology and office services. Martin began his state career in 2001 in a temporary job delivering computer hardware to rural health clinics for the Department of Health. He has since worked in various policy and budget positions for the state, to include working for Commerce in the Housing Trust Fund while completing his master’s degree in public administration from the Evergreen State College. Prior to joining Commerce, Martin most recently was a management analyst and eventually a budget manager for the Employment Security Department. Martin holds bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and lives in the Olympia area with his wife Shelly and their two children.
Jasmine Vasavada joined Commerce in 2016 as a senior energy policy specialist and began working as Commerce’s legislative director in 2018. She earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington and a bachelor of science degree from Harvard University. That background in science helped when she began working on state-level issues related to toxics in New Jersey. It carried forward to her work at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, where Jasmine recruited and trained a team of 60 volunteer naturalists to teach children how to observe ocean life at a new hands-on marine sciences facility. While studying law at the University of Washington, Jasmine focused on state-level policy and spent several months in Olympia with the Attorney General’s Office and the Office of Program Research, the nonpartisan committee staff in the Washington State House of Representatives.