Dr. Jessica Smith is the GIWPS Research and Policy Manager and Director of the GIWPS graduate certificate in Gender, Peace and Security. She works with Ambassador Verveer to envision and execute research projects, supervise research fellows, and disseminate research findings through academic, policy, and practitioner communities. Jessica also leads the Institute’s climate research and supports the Institute’s Bridging Theory & Practice symposiums. .
Dr. Smith completed her PhD at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. She brings nearly a decade of research experience working on gender-related issues with women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Indonesia, Jordan and the United States. Her research focuses on women’s experiences of agency in conflict-affected contexts, specifically how the principles of the Women, Peace and Security agenda translate and become meaningful to local actors. Her doctoral research used a participatory methodology called photovoice, with narrative and feminist ethnographic methods, to understand Bosnian women’s experiences of struggle and peacebuilding at the grassroots level.
In addition to her scholarly research, Dr. Smith has worked in various capacities for the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities, the United Nations, USAID and the US Institute of Peace. Before joining GIWPS she was the Program Manager for the Everyday Peace Indicators project and is currently an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University.