Ms. Smith is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at Georgetown University and the CEO and founder of Decibel Strategy, which advances business, trade and professional ties between the United States and the Middle East. Before founding Decibel Strategy, Ms. Smith spent 25 years as a diplomat, working throughout the Middle East and in Asia.
From 2014 to 2017, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar. During her tenure, she successfully advocated for over $100 billion U.S. business and investment opportunities in Qatar, as well as over $70 billion Qatari investment in the U.S. She also negotiated base access for the international coalition fighting ISIL and furthered partnerships in the fields of education and culture.
From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Smith was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, managing strategic communications, global media relations and crisis communications for Secretaries Clinton and Kerry. Across the tenures of seven different Secretaries of State, Ms. Smith served as a spokesperson and public affairs officer in Dubai, Taipei, Amman, Gaza, Tel Aviv and Cairo.
She speaks fluent Arabic and is proficient in Chinese, Hebrew and Spanish. She has degrees in political science, Middle East studies and women’s studies from the University of California, San Diego.
A mother of two and wife of a Diplomatic Security Special Agent, Ms. Smith captured her thoughts on work and life in the article “How to Have an Insanely Demanding Job and Two Happy Kids,” published by “The Atlantic” in 2012.