Ms. Smith joined ICNL as Eurasia Legal Advisor in April 2022. She works with the Eurasia regional team and other colleagues to support partners in drafting, analyzing, and navigating laws and policies related to civil society organizations (CSOs) across the region. Her work includes implementing and providing legal technical assistance and support to CSOs and governments seeking to improve laws and practices in the non-profit sector.
She brings 17 years of international experience to ICNL in a wide range of legal and technical assistance, capacity building, training, and support programs for civil society, justice, and media sector professionals. This includes positions with Internews Network, where she helped design and obtain funding for projects supporting the media, access to information, women’s participation, and digital rights, among other topics, primarily in Eurasia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). At the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), her positions at headquarters were as Europe and Eurasia Director and as MENA Special Advisor. She served in ABA ROLI’s country offices in Moldova and Kyrgyzstan, where she oversaw programming, including assessments of the judiciary, gender equality, and compliance with anti-trafficking laws. She managed ABA ROLI’s criminal law, civic education, legal education, and human rights programs in shorter-term roles in China, Egypt, and Morocco. She was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in Namibia, South Africa, and Washington, D.C.
Interspersed with her international experience, Ms. Smith practiced law for 18 years at firms in Boston, New York, and Washington DC, representing clients on transactional matters. In her experience as in-house counsel at the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she provided legal advice on transactional, regulatory, operational, and compliance matters. She holds a law degree from Boston College Law School and a BA from Smith College. She speaks French and basic Russian.