A native of Glenville, West Virginia, Sarah A. Smith received a B.A. in History and Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from Glenville State College in 2001. Upon graduation, she made her way to Morgantown, WV to attend the West Virginia University College of Law.
After graduating from law school in 2004, Smith decided to pursue her love of politics and began working for newly elected Governor Joe Manchin III. Smith began her career in government relations during her nearly six (6) years in the Manchin Administration. Her primary role was to act as a liaison between the Legislative Branch and the Executive branch of West Virginia.
In 2010, Smith decided to pursue her Masters in Business Administration and earned that while continuing to work for Manchin. She completed the Executive MBA program from the University of Charleston and soon after took a position with Alpha Natural Resources as its Director of Government and External Affairs. Smith managed all state government interactions and messaging for the Virginia based coal company, including planning and executing a legislative agenda and representing the interests of the company to a wide variety of constituents, both political and otherwise.
The opportunity to work for her Alma Mater motived Smith to take the role of Associate Vice President of State and Local Relations for West Virginia University in late 2013. There she acted as the primary point of contact for WVU with state government leaders and worked to advocate for the interests of WVU in Charleston.
Smith is currently the Executive Vice President of SLS Land & Energy Development, a family business founded by her father in 1978. She is taking a leadership role as part of a succession plan as her father nears retirement. Her expertise and background in the legislative process and state government still drives her to practice government relations with Hartman, Harman and Cosco.
Smith services on the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Leadership WV and Vision Shared. She is also an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston, WV.