Alumni Achievement in Business – Reunion 2016

SmithChristopher Smith didn’t go far from home to Drew, and he still lives a few miles from Madison, but his talent and his education are taking him around the world.

Chris chose Drew for its close community of students and faculty and its proximity to New York City. His freshman seminar with Professor Don Cole not only involved him in critical thinking but helped him to see economics as his chosen field. While at Drew, he also took advantage of many opportunities the College offers, including internships; served as advertising manager of the Acorn; and was a resident assistant for two years.

During the next few years after graduation, Chris joined MetLife, then worked with several other firms while pursuing a graduate degree. He earned an MBA with honors, with a concentration in computer and information systems, at Rutgers Graduate School of Management in 1998, and he is also qualified as a chartered financial analyst. He returned to MetLife Investments in a variety of positions with increasing responsibilities, excelling in this leading insurance company which extends worldwide. He became vice president and chief of staff to the chief investment officer in 2006 and led the department’s communications during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

By 2010, Chris was vice president and chief enterprise strategy officer. The next year, he became senior vice president and chief of staff to MetLife’s chairman, president and CEO, while also chairing the Board of MetLife Foundation. Since 2013, Chris has been executive vice president and head of global operations, founding this company division by uniting over 40 independent operating groups, leading over 14,000 associates, to transform MetLife’s operations into one unified global organization to be a powerful advocate for its customers while creating the capacity for the company’s growth.

Chris has been an increasingly involved Drew alumnus, and he has hosted Drew’s Wall Street Semester’s year-end reception at MetLife. Since 2014, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees, serving on several committees including Student Affairs, where he enjoys interacting with current students.

Summit, New Jersey, is still home. He and his wife, Heidi, a nurse in St. Barnabas Hospital’s neonatal ICU, enjoy living in the small city where Chris grew up. Their son, Josh (21), is a senior majoring in graphic design at Boston University, while their daughter, Abby (18), will enter Lafayette University in the fall. Chris’s greatest interest is his family, and he enjoys his work with Drew.