David J. Smith’s work spans the fields of career education, peacebuilding, humanitarian education, conflict resolution, and civic and global education. He has over 30 years’ experience as an educational consultant, lawyer, mediator, professor, trainer, senior program officer, senior manager, career coach, speaker, and author. David supports educators, youth, and professionals in developing initiatives advancing civic, educational, and peacebuilding awareness. He is a trained facilitator who has assisted organizations in strategic planning. David also works with groups and individuals in need of career coaching, mediation, and conflict engagement assistance. He has worked with over 500 colleges around the U.S. and has given nearly 1,000 talks on peacebuilding, career awareness, humanitarian education, conflict resolution, and international education.
He is the president and co-founder of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit that offers experiential learning opportunities for students and professionals. He was formerly a senior program officer and manager of national outreach at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has taught at Harford Community College, Goucher College, Towson University, Georgetown University, Drexel University, and currently at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. While practicing law in Towson, Maryland, he also engaged in family mediation. He served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tartu (Estonia) teaching peace studies and alternative dispute resolution.
David is a recipient of the William Kreidler Award for Distinguished Service to the field of Conflict Resolution given by the Association for Conflict Resolution and the inaugural Global Education Award for Outstanding Voluntary Service Leadership given by the World Affairs Council/Washington, DC. David is past chair of the Rockville (Maryland) Human Rights Commission, where he received the Community Mediator of the Year Award. David was a founding member of the Harford County (Maryland) Community Mediation Commission.
He was a featured presenter at TEDxFulbright “A Curious Picture” in June 2017 where he gave a talk titled “Talking about Peace.” The Washington Post Magazine featured David in its “Just Asking” feature in April 2018. He was interviewed on NBC’s TODAY Show in August 2020.
His consulting clients have included the Fulbright Association, where he led its diversity initiative, and Street Law, Inc., where he spearheaded its community college efforts. David is a member of the PCDN Global’s Career Advisory Panel and is currently the president of the board of directors of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Fulbright Association. He is an official member of Forbes Coaches Council and a member of the National Career Development Association.
David is the author of Legal Research and Writing (Delmar, 1996), editor of Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource (USIP Press, 2013), and author of Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (Information Age Publishing, 2016). David is co-author of USIP Special Report 246 Graduate Education and Professional Practice in International Peace and Conflict (August 2010). He has published in Career Convergence Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, LinkedIn Pulse, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Community College Journal, Community College Daily, Journal of Peace Education, Forbes.com, Mediate.com, Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Korea Herald, Arizona Daily Sun, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and The Baltimore Sun.
He also consults to the legal community on issues of ADR and conflict resolution practice. David is a member of the Maryland bar.
He is a graduate of American University (BA, political science & urban affairs), George Mason University (MS, conflict analysis & resolution), and the University of Baltimore (JD). David has completed course work with Coach Training Alliance. He is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in positive psychology at the University of Missouri.
He lives in Rockville, Maryland, with his wife, who teaches nursing at Montgomery College. They have two adult children. David holds dual American and Canadian citizenship.