BOISE, Idaho - Regence BlueShield of Idaho has realigned and augmented its Boise-based government and community affairs team. Effective immediately, Gary Smith assumes the newly expanded position of director of Government and Community Affairs. In this role, Smith will oversee all Idaho-based intergovernmental relations activities, including those with the Governor’s Office, Legislature and Department of Insurance, while also managing community engagement efforts.

Prior to his time with Regence BlueShield of Idaho directing business development, Smith worked as senior vice president for government relations at The Travelers Insurance Companies. Before that – as many in the regional business community will recall – he was director of the Idaho Department of Insurance and a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners executive committee. He also served on the Boise City Council and worked as a director of external and intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior, as deputy chief of staff to former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, and as deputy legislative director for Kempthorne during his Senate term.

“Gary has an unmatched depth of experience working at the intersection of the public and private sectors,” said Sean Robbins, president of Regence BlueShield of Idaho. “At a time of so much change in our industry and state, we’re delighted Gary has agreed to lend his steady hand to guide our refocused and reenergized government and community affairs efforts.”

Supporting Smith in carrying out his expanded responsibilities are Mitch Toryanski, director of legislative affairs, and Tara Harrison, senior regulatory affairs specialist. Both Toryanski and Harrison are attorneys with broad and deep experience encompassing the operations of state legislatures and state agencies.

Smith reports directly to Regence BlueShield of Idaho President Sean Robbins.

About Regence BlueShield of Idaho
Regence BlueShield of Idaho, based in Lewiston, has been serving Idahoans for 73 years and now provides more than 161,000 members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit mutual insurance company and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers in Idaho and nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit, or