I am an independent consultant focusing on building capacity for global education and peacebuilding awareness. One of my areas of interest is community colleges, often referred to as ”democracy’s colleges. ” Until recently, I was a senior manager and senior program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC where I worked in the Global Peacebuilding Center.
At USIP, I worked with nearly 150 colleges and universities around the U.S. to support their peacebuilding aspirations. I visited nearly 90 institutions in 26 states and the District of Columbia as a consultant in evaluating their programmatic efforts, managing workshops for faculty and staff, and running experiential programs for students.
- In 2008 I led a team from USIP to Virginia Tech to help establish the university’s Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention that was created in response to the 2007 tragedy.
- From 2006-2009 I managed a nationally recognized seminar for community college faculty that focused on peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
- I am the co-author of USIP Special Report 246, Graduate Education and Professional Practice in International Peace and Conflict, which provided new insights into the deficiencies in graduate level conflict resolution education in the U.S. and made recommendations that a number of programs have adopted.
- I was a 2003-2004 U.S. Fulbright Scholar teaching peace studies and conflict resolution at the University of Tartu in Tartu, Estonia.
- While at USIP, I gave nearly 500 talks and presentations on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and global education to colleges, high schools, and public groups around the U.S.
- I have published in the Journal of Peace Education, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and The Chronicle of Higher Education among other publications on issues of peacebuilding and global education.
- I am currently a part-time faculty member at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, where I developed and teach the course, Curriculum Development in Higher Education, a course that provides graduate students with the skills to teach in the college classroom.
- I have a BA from American University, an MS in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University, and a JD from the University of Baltimore.
- I have practiced law full-time, worked as a family and community mediator, helped establish a community mediation center, and taught at the community college and liberal arts college levels.
- In 2013, I published as editor Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource, a unique USIP Press publication that presents strategies that 2-year institutions can undertake in promoting global education and peacebuilding.
As you can see, my work is not limited to community colleges. I assist organizations and associations in promoting civic and legal education, global awareness, study abroad, and peacebuilding. Clients include the Fulbright Association, Street Law, Inc., Montgomery College, American Councils for International Education and other groups and institutions across the U.S. In my civic work, I serve as chair of Rockville, Maryland’s Human Rights Commission. I also serve on the Global Education Committee of the World Affairs Council, Washington, DC. I live in Rockville, Maryland with my wife Lena Choudhary, who teaches nursing at Anne Arundel Community College. We have two children, our son Lorenzo, a student at the University of Maryland, and our daughter Sonya, a student at Rockville High School.
And thanks again for stopping by my site and considering my work!
David J. Smith