Meet the DECD Leadership Team


   

Daniel H. O'Keefe
Commissioner, Department of Economic and Community Development
Chief Innovation Officer, State of CT 

Dan was nominated by Governor Ned Lamont as Commissioner of DECD in November 2023. He has served as the State’s of Connecticut’s first Chief Innovation Officer since July 2023, and will continue in this additional role until a successor is found. Dan serves as a passionate advocate for the economy and communities throughout Connecticut, focusing on economic growth, workforce development, vibrant communities and job creation. 

Prior to entering public service, Dan was a technology investor for 25 years, investing in high growth, innovative companies in the software, consumer and fintech markets, companies that went on to create tens of thousands of jobs. 

Dan also serves as a Board Member and Chairperson Emeritus of The Opportunity Network (www.OppNet.org), an education and career-skills focused non-profit reaching over 40,000 high-potential students from historically marginalized communities.

Dan holds an MBA with High Distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School, where he served as President of its Alumni Board, and an AB from Brown University, where he serves on its President’s Leadership Council.

 

Paul O. Robertson, Deputy Commissioner

Paul O. Robertson was named Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in February of 2022.  In this role, he oversees all business development, government affairs, tourism, marketing, and communications activities of the department.  In addition, he serves as chair of the Social Equity Council that is helping develop an equitable cannabis entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Paul has extensive experience as a business, marketing and media consultant and is a proven leader in building organizations, improving processes, and developing talent.  He has served as chairman of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) where he was responsible for bringing international, national, and regional conferences, conventions, and sporting events to the state.

Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. His extensive background in broadcasting management and sales includes jobs as the Station Manager of Radio Disney Connecticut, Associate General Manager at IMG Learfield representing UCONN Sports, Sales Manager at NBC 30 NBC Connecticut, and as an Sr. Account Executive at CBS Radio (Audacy)in Farmington.

Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Hartford.

 

Matthew J. Pugliese, Deputy Commissioner

Matthew J. Pugliese was named Deputy Commissioner and Chief Investment Officer of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) on January 1, 2024. In this role he oversees all real estate, capital project, brownfield and community development initiatives and compliance activities of the department. 

Previously, he served as DECD’s Executive Director of Community Development where he managed multiple state grant programs supporting a diverse range of capital projects. Matt joined the department in 2022 to help launch the Community Investment Fund 2030 program, an $875 million-dollar, five-year program fostering economic and community development in historically underserved communities across the state. 

Prior to joining DECD, Matt served as the Associate State Director of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center and held leadership positions in higher education at UConn and nonprofit organizations. Matt currently serves on the Town of Old Saybrook’s Board of Selectmen and is a past chair of the town’s Economic Development Commission.  He earned his Masters in Public Administration from the UConn School of Public Policy and bachelor’s degree from the UConn School of Fine Arts.

 

Paul S. Lavoie, Chief Manufacturing Officer

Paul S. Lavoie was appointed by Governor Ned Lamont as the Chief Manufacturing Officer for Connecticut in February 2022.  The Chief Manufacturing Officer position was created to coordinate efforts from the state and private sector to expand manufacturing in Connecticut.

Paul has extensive industry experience, most recently as General Manager at Carey Manufacturing in Cromwell, CT.  Carey is known for their reshoring efforts, bringing jobs back from China to Connecticut.  Prior to Carey, Paul was a senior executive at ETTER Engineering Company in Bristol. Prior to ETTER, Paul has owned two businesses and served at senior level positions at publicly traded and privately owned businesses.

Paul serves as the Board Chair of the Central CT Chambers of Commerce, Board Chair of the Manufacturing Innovation Fund, Advisory Board member of Connecticut Technical and Career Education System, Board member of the University of Connecticut Engineering Advisory Council, Board member of the Sacred Heard Engineering Advisory Council, and is a  Board member of the Industrial Assessment Center at UCONN, In 2022, Paul was named as one of the Greater Hartford’s Top 50 Power Players by Hartford Business Journal.  

Paul has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Post University.