DENVER — Tuesday, June 12, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Director Henry Sobanet is leaving the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB). He will remain at OSPB through June.
“Henry has been a master with the state budget. His problem solving and attention to detail have served Colorado well, including two governors,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. "Henry always stayed above partisan politics, and focused on getting the policy issues right. We will miss him.”
Sobanet has served the state for 20 years. He began his career at the State Capitol in the Colorado Legislative Council Staff. He then served as OSPB deputy director and director under Gov. Owens. Sobanet founded and led a consulting practice from 2007-2011 and returned to OSPB under Gov. Hickenlooper. Sobanet guided the state’s financial decisions during dramatic swings from recessions to strong economic growth.
The key function of OSPB is to advise the Governor and support the Administration with reliable revenue estimates and sustainable and credible budget requests. Under Sobanet’s leadership, the office pushed for new legislation and policies to improve the state’s reserves (now at 7.25 percent from 2.3 percent in 2011), in-depth studies and reform proposals regarding the state’s pension system, and restructuring the hospital provider fee program. The office’s role in performance management, leadership training, strategic planning, and program evaluation all grew under Sobanet’s tenure. These efforts have received both in-state and national accolades and have been featured in books and publications about public sector leadership.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve two governors and lead the Office of State Planning and Budgeting,” said Henry Sobanet. “This is a bittersweet moment, but I am truly grateful to the Governor and my colleagues for their support and camaraderie over the years. This is an experience and a group of people I will treasure forever.”
Lauren Larson will serve as the state’s new Director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting. Larson currently serves as Director of State Operations in the Office of Lt. Gov. and Chief Operating Officer Donna Lynne, and has an extensive history in managing budgets, both at the state and federal level.
“Lauren is one of the most talented people in our administration, and we are fortunate to have her,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “Lauren’s leadership and experience will continue our bipartisan approach to managing the budget, while stretching our dollars to do good for the state.”
Larson previously led regulatory reform efforts while directing a Division at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Prior to joining the State, Larson managed a $50 billion budget at the White House Office of Management & Budget where she was Chief of the Treasury Branch under Presidents Bush and Obama. Earlier in her career, she was an economist in the tax practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She holds degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Michigan.