Margaret Keane, Executive Chairman of the Board of Stamford’s Synchrony, is the new co-chair of AdvanceCT, the state government’s economic development entity.
Alongside Jeff Sonnenfeld, senior dean of leadership studies at the Yale School of Management, she will replace Indra Nooyi and James Smith, who are stepping down as co-chair after nearly three years in government service. Nooyi and Smith will remain directors of AdvanceCT.
“Jim Smith and Indra Nooyi have come together to help usher in a new era of prosperity in Connecticut,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “Our state is fortunate to have them as friends who only want to see our residents, businesses and communities succeed.
“Whether it’s helping the state meet the challenge of reopening after the Covid-19 crisis, helping the state craft an economic development plan for the future, their work has done difference and has helped attract new business investment to our towns and cities, ”said Lamont. added.
“Their leadership, guidance and hands-on commitment have been invaluable and an inspiration to all of us,” added Peter Denious, President and CEO of AdvanceCT. “Their continued service to the Board of Directors will allow for a smooth transition of leadership. “
Highlights of Smith and Nooyi’s tenure include reorienting, reorganizing and strengthening AdvanceCT to achieve the Governor’s goal of establishing a private, market-oriented business development organization working in partnership with the State to engage, retain, develop and attract businesses in Connecticut.
Nooyi was also co-chair of the Reopen Connecticut Covid task force, of which Smith was a member.
The couple also helped develop the economic action plan developed in partnership with David Lehman and Glendowlyn Thames from the Department of Economic and Community Development, as well as representatives from more than 50 private sector organizations statewide. . This plan eventually became a central part of the Governor’s American Rescue Plan Act spending strategy.
Keane is one of four women in the United States to run a large financial institution. From April 2011 to April 2021, she was CEO of Synchrony, overseeing the company’s IPO in 2014, then its separation from GE. She was named executive chair of the Synchrony board earlier this year.
AdvanceCT also elected Judy Marks, President and CEO, Otis Worldwide Corp., and Deepak Mishra, President, Americas Region, Philip Morris International, as members and directors.