With her Stanford degree and Dartmouth MBA, Smith’s intellect is apparent. But it’s her ability to describe a clear vision, build effective coalitions and cross the political goal line that gets people’s attention. After serving as Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s chief of staff, Smith gained the confidence of Gov. Mark Dayton as chief of staff in Dayton’s first term. Equally comfortable in a room with business executives or nonprofit leaders, Smith is now positioned to become Minnesota’s first woman governor.