Taiya Smith

Senior Associate (Non-resident), Energy Security and Climate Change Program

Taiya Smith leads the nonprofit Climate Leadership Council’s China Program where she works with governments and corporations to prepare for a world with a price on carbon. Smith has a proven track record of achieving concrete results in difficult geopolitical and geo-economic environments. As a Managing Partner at Garnet Strategies, LLC, an international strategic advisory firm, Smith advised clean technology companies and nonprofit institutions on opportunities for growth in China and the United States. In this capacity, she was the principal adviser to Secretary Hank Paulson on the U.S.-China relationship and a key force behind designing and managing the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. She led the coordination efforts within the U.S. government and negotiated with the Chinese on behalf of more than eight U.S. agencies. Working with her team at the Treasury Department, she established the U.S.-China Ten Year Framework on Energy and the Environment and the EcoPartnership program, both of which served as the platform for U.S.-China cooperation on climate change. Following her government service, Ms. Smith was a senior associate for the China and Climate Change Programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a senior adviser to the UN Foundation, leading its work on climate finance. She also served as a special assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick and was policy adviser for Africa, Europe, and political/military affairs, including U.S.-EU relations, energy security, and U.S.-Sudan policy. She started in government in 2003 as a Presidential Management Fellow in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Prior to joining the government, she served as a member of the facilitation team for the Burundi Peace Negotiations led by Nelson Mandela. Ms. Smith holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee on United States–China Relations.

Contact Information
Email: taiya.smith [at] garnetstrategies.com