Smith was appointed secretary of state for science, innovation and technology on 28 April 2023. She has previously been secretary of state for work and pensions, minister for disabled people, health and work, and minister for the constitution and devolution. Other positions held include parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office, parliamentary under-secretary of state for Northern Ireland and assistant government whip for the House of Commons. She was elected Conservative MP for Norwich North on 23 July 2009.