Barbara Smith

Senior Associate (Non-resident), Human Rights Initiative

Barbara Smith has over 20 years of experience in international development and is a subject matter expert in democracy, human rights, and governance with significant experience designing and implementing programs in conflict-prone countries. She has had direct and substantial involvement in policy development and strategic planning within the U.S. government, the nongovernmental community, and international organizations. Ms. Smith has held a number of positions with the U.S. Agency for International Development, including deputy assistant to the administrator for policy, planning and learning; senior policy analyst; deputy coordinator for Middle East transition response; and senior field adviser for democracy and governance. In addition, she served on the National Security Staff at the White House as a director for Afghanistan and Pakistan affairs and at the Asia Foundation as senior director for governance and law. She has also held senior positions with various organizations overseas, including as spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for refugees in Bosnia and as deputy country representative for the Asia Foundation in Afghanistan. Ms. Smith received a B.A. in government from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in political science from Texas State University.