Professor Smith is Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Professor Emerita in International Security at Cranfield University, UK and Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC (2019/2020). Professor Smith received her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 1993 and has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2012/2013), the East-West Center, Honolulu (2008 and 2015), Kyushu University (2010), the United States Institute of Peace (2001/2002), and a Fulbright award at Stanford University (1994/1995).
Professor Smith has researched East Asian security and North Korea, where she lived and worked for United Nations humanitarian organisations for two years, and from where she earned a (still valid) North Korean driving license, for nearly 30 years.
Professor Smith has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 1996; and is a member of the Council of the British Association of Korean Studies. Professor Smith was appointed as a UN ‘global expert’ on Korea in 2010; and a member of the UK Economic and Research Council Research Committee from 2010-2015. Professor Smith was honoured to be invited by the US NGO AmeriCares, patron President George H. W. Bush, to be one of a five member Honorary Committee – with former President of the United States George W. Bush, the then US Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte, and the then Governor of New York George Pataki and the Governor of Connecticut - to commemorate the 20 years anniversary of AmeriCares operations, at an event held in Wall Street, New York, May 2002.
Professor Smith’s publications include North Korea: Markets and Military Rule (Cambridge University Press, 2015); North Korea: Markets and Military Rule - translated into Korean, (Seoul: Changbi, 2017); Nutrition and Health in North Korea: What's New, What's Changed and Why It Matters’, North Korean Review, Vol. 12 No. 1, Spring 2016, pp. 7-34; ‘Crimes against Humanity? Unpacking the North Korean Human Rights Debate’, Critical Asian Studies, Vol. 46 No. 1, 2014, pp. 127-143; [joint edited] Reframing North Korean Human Rights; Critical Asian Studies, December 2013/ March 2014, Reconstituting Korean Security (2007); Hungry for Peace: International Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Social Change in the DPRK (2005) and [joint-edited] North Korea in the New World Order (1996).
Professor Smith is regularly called on to advise government agencies worldwide, consults internationally, is invited internationally to academic and policy venues to speak about her research, and is a frequent broadcaster for global media.