NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Communications Director David Smith is leaving Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration to start his own consulting business.

Smith joined the governor’s Cabinet in 2015 after previously serving as press secretary for Haslam’s first term. He was also Haslam’s spokesman during the gubernatorial campaign of 2010.Haslam in a statement lauded Smith’s role as an adviser on policy and strategy in addition to his communications work.Smith oversaw the messaging plan for key Haslam initiatives like the recently enacted road funding program, extending Tennessee’s free community college program to adults and the expanding access to broadband in rural areas. He also helped craft Haslam’s annual state of the state addresses and managed internal and external communications.

Smith is a Vermont native who previously worked as a reporter in Washington, D.C., and California.