Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness, the only place where CEOs, labor leaders and university presidents are working together to ensure that Americans prosper in the global economy. Founded in 1986, this unique business-labor-academia coalition recommends actionable public policy solutions to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.
Wince-Smith is internationally renowned as a leading voice on competitiveness, innovation strategy, science and technology policy, energy, education, economics and business.
As president of the Council, Wince-Smith spearheaded the groundbreaking National Innovation Initiative (NII), which played a pivotal role in creating a reinvigorated U.S. competitiveness movement. The NII shaped the bipartisan America COMPETES Act, created state and regional innovation initiatives, and brought a global focus to innovation.
Wince-Smith is a member of the board of directors of NASDAQ-OMX, Inc., and serves on the Audit, Compensation and Finance Committees. She is also a Senate-confirmed member of the Oversight Board of the Internal Revenue Service, responsible for administering the Nation’s tax laws, and the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. She recently chaired the Secretary of Commerce’s Advisory Committee on Strengthening America’s Communities. She has served on four Cabinet-level advisory groups, including the Secretary of Energy’s Task Forces on the Future of Science and Nuclear Energy.
Wince-Smith serves on the University of Chicago’s Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory and was a long-standing member of the University of California President’s Council on the National Laboratories, providing oversight for Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. She also serves on the board of directors at the Albert Shanker Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation.
During her 17-year tenure in the federal government, Wince-Smith held leading positions in the areas of science, technology policy and international economic affairs. Most notably, she served as the nation’s first assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy in the administration of George H.W. Bush, overseeing federal technology transfer policy, implementation of the Bayh-Dole Act, and the White House National Technology Initiative. She was also the first assistant director of international affairs and competitiveness in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the architect of the landmark Head of Government Science and Technology Agreement with Japan.
Wince-Smith developed President Reagan’s Competitiveness Initiative, and led the implementation of executive orders and new laws that transformed federal technology transfer policy for U.S. national laboratories and American industry.
She began her career as a program director for the National Science Foundation, where she managed U.S. research programs with Eastern European countries and U.S. universities. Wince-Smith earned her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Vassar College and her master’s degree in classical archeology from King’s College at the University of Cambridge. In 2006, she received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Michigan State University.