David Lehman Announces DECD Departure
When Gov. Ned Lamont begins his second term, his administration will have a new head of economic development.
Lamont plans to appoint Alexandra Daum to succeed David Lehman as commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development .
Lehman, who has served as DECD commissioner since February 2019, intends to leave the administration at the end of the term.
“It has been an honor to work with Gov. Lamont and his team over the past four years on issues vital to Connecticut’s economic health, vibrancy, and long-term competitiveness,” Lehman told a Nov. 17 press confrence.
“I am very proud of what we accomplished and confident that the initiatives, investments, and strategies we put into place will provide meaningful and measurable benefits for years to come.”
Lehman left a high-powered Wall Street job to join DECD, approaching Lamont shortly after the latter’s election in 2018 and asking for a job in his administration.
CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said businesses applauded Lehman’s efforts to shift DECD to helping local companies, rather than awarding grants to major, often out-of-state, companies.
“David Lehman brought a pragmatic, transparent, collaborative approach to his role at DECD while refining and overhauling the state’s strategy and tactics,” DiPentima said.
“He was a key administration figure during the pandemic, and I always appreciated his candor and willingness to listen to all sides of issues.”
Daum, whose nomination must be confirmed by the General Assembly, has served as deputy commissioner and chief investment officer of DECD since March 2020.
She currently oversees state investment in local economic development projects and initiatives, including greenfield and brownfield real estate developments.
Prior to joining DECD, Daum was the founder and principal of Field Properties, a real estate investor in New Haven.
“Our administration has an aggressive approach to growing jobs, attracting businesses, and enhancing economic development in Connecticut, and I want the strongest, smartest, and most energetic team possible to lead these efforts on behalf of our state’s residents,” Lamont said.
“For the last several years, Alexandra has worked alongside David Lehman as part of the leadership team in Connecticut’s economic development office, which is why I am confident this will be a smooth transition.”
DiPentima note that even with Lehman’s planned departure, “there’s more to be done to boost the state’s competitiveness.”
“We look forward to working with Alexandra Daum and continuing to collaborate on developing stability, predictably, and certainty for Connecticut’s business environment,” he said.
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