A native of West Texas, Rusty Smith brings a unique blend of experience in both the private and public sectors to the direction of the Consortium. Rusty comes to Texas Tech from the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance where he previously served as a project manager, focusing on recruiting new businesses and fostering innovation in the Lubbock region.
Prior to moving back to Lubbock, Rusty spent several years in Austin working in public policy in both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, primarily focusing on natural resources, agriculture, and energy. Most notably, Rusty served as the Committee Director for the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs during the 85th Texas Legislature for Chairman Charles Perry. During that time he oversaw all legislation under the jurisdiction of the committee, including issues impacting water resources across the state. After the 85th session Rusty was hired to serve as the Director of Government & Regulatory Affairs for the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, a statewide oil & gas trade association serving nearly 3,000 individual and corporate members. Rusty received a BS from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Texas Tech.