Gayle Smith is special assistant to the President and senior director at the National Security Council (NSC), where she is responsible for global development, democracy, stabilization and humanitarian assistance issues. She was previously a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, co-chair of the ENOUGH Project and co-founder of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. During the Clinton Administration, Smith previously served as special assistant to the President and senior director for African Affairs at the NSC, and as senior advisor to the Administrator and chief of staff of the US Agency for International Development.
Smith was based in Africa for over 20 years as a journalist covering military, economic and political affairs for the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Toronto Globe & Mail, London Observer and Financial Times. Smith has also consulted for a wide range of NGOs, foundations and governmental organizations including UNICEF, the World Bank, Dutch Interchurch Aid, Norwegian Church Relief and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. She won the World Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council and the World Hunger Year Award in 1991, and in 1999 won the National Security Council’s Samuel Nelson Drew Award for Distinguished Contribution in Pursuit of Global Peace.
Smith is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the boards of Oxfam America, the Africa America Institute, ASSET, USA for Africa and the National Security Network. She also served on the policy advisory boards of DATA, the Acumen Fund and the Global Fairness Initiative, and was the Working Group chair on Global Poverty for the Clinton Global Initiative from 2005 to 2007.