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November 9, 2023

Alexandra Daum to leave Lamont administration for Yale

Alexandra Daum

Alexandra Daum, the commissioner of economic and community development, will be exiting the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont early next year to take a community development post at Yale University.

Daum is one of the private-sector executives Lamont recruited to state government for multi-year stints, including her predecessor, David Lehman, who was a Goldman Sachs partner.

Daum, whose background is in real estate, joined the Lamont administration more than three years ago as Lehman’s deputy. She became commissioner at the start of Lamont’s second term in January.

She declined to comment on her plans, noting a formal announcement is coming next week.

But others in the administration, including the governor, confirmed she has informed Lamont and her staff about plans to oversee development of the Yale campus in New Haven, where she lives downtown on the edge of the campus with her husband and two children.

“She’s got a great opportunity, but we’re not letting her far,” he said.

Lamont’s former chief of staff, Paul Mounds, and chief operating officer, Josh Geballe, both went to Yale after leaving the administration.

“We get a lot of extraordinary people working in state government. And we’re lucky for the time they are able to serve the state,” Lamont said in an interview Thursday after an economic development announcement in Cheshire.

Hanwha Aerospace, a multinational company based in South Korea, is establishing its international engine division at a sprawling manufacturing facility once owned by a key customer, Pratt & Whitney.

The Lamont administration and AdvanceCT, a business-funded non-profit that works closely with DECD to promote economic growth, heralded the Hanwha move as underscoring one the state’s strengths.

“Connecticut is the state for aerospace manufacturing,” Daum said. “Connecticut’s about 1% of the country’s GDP. And yet we’re 25% of aerospace component parts manufacturing. So we’re punching way above our weight class. The choice that you’ve made to come here is a recognition of that ecosystem.”

“You can’t fly without Connecticut,” Lamont said.

In an era of supply-chain shortages, the proximity to Pratt was a plus for Hanwha, a global aerospace and defense contractor that is a Fortune Global 500 company and the seventh-largest business group in South Korea.

David Emmerling, a Pratt vice president who oversees its turbofan business, said Hanwha was the only partner that works with Pratt on the breadth of its business, including commercial and military engines and Pratt & Whitney Canada.

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