Conan Smith (D)
Commissioner Smith was elected to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners effective January 1, 2005. He served as Chair of the Board in 2011 and 2012 and led the Ways & Means Committee in 2009 and 2010.
Representing the north and west sides of Ann Arbor, Commissioner Smith is the third generation of public servants in his family. His wife, Rebekah Warren currently serves in the state Senate. His mother, Alma Wheeler Smith, represented parts of Washtenaw County as a County Commissioner and in the Michigan state Senate and House of Representatives. His aunt, Nancy Francis, is a Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge. His grandfather, Albert Wheeler was Ann Arbor’s first African American mayor.
Commissioner Smith earned his B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Michigan's Residential College and served as a speech writer on the Democratic staff of the Michigan Speaker of the House. He directed land programs with the Michigan Environmental Council for six years before becoming the executive director at the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of city governments focused on intergovernmental cooperation, where he works today.
An ardent environmentalist, Commissioner Smith is a nationally recognized leader on land use, transportation and energy issues. He has served on the board of directors for Smart Growth America and remains a National Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program. In 2009, Commissioner Smith was honored by the state’s Clean Cities Coalitions as with their Michigan Clean Transportation Community Leader Award.
Recognizing the increasing importance of energy policy to global economic and environmental sustainability, Commissioner Smith has been appointed by Governors Rick Snyder and Jennifer Granholm to serve on the Michigan Utility Consumer Participation Board, which supports interventions in public utility rate cases to protect residential consumer interests. He also serves as the founding Board President of Michigan Saves, a statewide nonprofit established by the Michigan Public Service Commission to finance energy efficiency projects; as Board Treasurer of the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, a nonprofit collaboration of more than 20 local governments supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency policy and projects; and on the executive committee of Climate Communities, a national coalition of cities and counties that is educating federal policymakers about the essential role of local governments in curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Commissioner Smith believes that efforts to restore our communities’ prosperity should focus on economic opportunity across the full spectrum of work and job creation. He is a member of the Ann Arbor SPARK board of directors, a regional nonprofit economic development agency; an appointee to the Washtenaw Workforce Development Board; and represents local government officials as a member of the board of the Michigan Workforce Development Association.
For 2013, Commissioner Smith’s Washtenaw County Appointments include
- Drainage Board
- Environmental Health Code Appeals Board
- Public Health Advisory Committee
- Retirement Commission
- SEMCOG – the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (alternate)
- Sustainable Revenue for Supportive Housing Task Force
- Voluntary Employee Benefits Association (VEBA) Board
- Washtenaw Literacy Coalition
- Washtenaw Parks and Recreation Commission