Barbara Smith
Principal and Founder, Mountain Time Development

Ms. Smith’s current projects with Mountain Time Development include leading an assessment on the Philippines and market research in democracy, human rights, and governance.

With over 20 years of significant experience, Ms. Smith has proven leadership and management skills. Notably, she served as a Director at the National Security Council for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the White House, where, in addition to other duties, she served as the White House Representative on a high-level visit to Afghanistan. Additionally, Ms. Smith has held a number of positions with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), including a senior executive service appointment as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning. In her various roles, Ms. Smith represented the US government at international negotiations and in international fora at the senior leadership level, including: the US-Korea-Japan Trilateral, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)-USAID bilateral, and as Head of Delegation to the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (UNDCF). She has also held senior positions with various organizations outside of government, including as Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as Deputy Country Representative and Senior Director for the Asia Foundation. Under these titles Ms. Smith led the elections and political processes team in Afghanistan, was a representative at governance and law related events, and traveled for work with the Asia Foundation to Pakistan, Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, India, and Sri Lanka.

Ms. Smith developed her subject matter expertise in conflict and governance, democracy, and human rights with experience designing and implementing programs in conflict-prone countries. For the UNHCR in Bosnia-Herzegovina she designed programs to address cross border issues and promote confidence building. As Project Manager for the Asia Foundation’s Constitutional Loya Jirga Program, she worked with international and national staff to build capacity and identify potential programmatic areas. She has had direct and substantial involvement in policy development and strategic planning within the US government, the non-governmental community, and international organizations. Ms. Smith helped lead USAID’s regional response to the Arab Spring by overseeing, coordinating, and working with technical and regional staff to develop policy proposals and programmatic responses to events in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria.

In addition to the work she does with Mountain Time Development, Ms. Smith advises for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as a Senior Associate (Non-Resident). She has completed both field work and remote interview-based research, producing several recently published studies on closing space for civil society. She also serves as an Affiliate Faculty member as Regis University in Denver, and a Practitioner-in-Residence/Adjunct Faculty at Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.

Ms. Smith received a B.A. in government from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in political science from Texas State University.