Christopher Smith

SVP, Policy, Government, and Public Affairs, Cheniere Energy

Fast Facts


  • MBA, University of Cambridge, 1995-1997
  • BS, Engineering Management, U.S. Military Academy at West Point,1987-1991

Selected work history

  • Energy Department
    • Assistant Secretary, Fossil Energy, 2013-2017
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary, Oil and Natural Gas, 2009-2013
  • Various Management Positions, Chevron, 1998-2009
  • Associate, Foreign Exchange Options Structuring, JPMorgan Chase, 1995-1996
  • Associate, Capital Markets, Citibank, 1994-1995

Christopher Smith was inspired by his parents to turn to a life of public service early on. Smith enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a BS in engineering. After tours of duty that took him to Korea and Hawaii, he began working in the energy industry for Texaco/Chevron in 1998. He worked for a decade in the private sector before being named deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas at the Energy Department. 

Smith has described his work at the department as “reducing greenhouse-gas emissions” from coal-powered, natural-gas, and industrial sources, and he emphasizes the importance of utilizing public-private partnerships to achieve these goals. He led the department’s engagement with international stakeholders on carbon capture and other technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and served as the federal liaison on the National Commission for the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

His service in the Army may have ended in 1995, but his mission has not stopped. Smith’s cousin Emily Perez, a fellow West Point graduate (2005), deployed to Iraq. A year later, she was killed in action while leading a support convoy—the first female African American officer in U.S. military history to die in combat. Smith served on the board of the Emily J.T. Perez Foundation, a mentoring program for young women and part of the Foundation for Women Warriors. 

Smith is also a board member of the Atlantic Council.

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