Combs served as Deputy assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefits during the Reagan and Bush administrations. Following her service there, she joined consultants William M Mercer as a principal and then moved on to become Vice President and Chief Counsel for Pensions and Retirement at the American Council of Life Insurers. She currently serves on the board of directors for the American Benefits Council.
Combs graduated from Notre Dame University and received her J.D. from George Washington University.