Gayle E. Smith serves as Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security at the Department of State. She is on leave from the ONE Campaign, where she has served as the President and CEO since March 2017. She has served as a top advisor on development issues for two American presidents and is one of the world’s leading experts on global development.
Prior to the ONE Campaign, Smith was the Administrator of USAID, where she led a staff of more than 10,000 people working to end extreme poverty, foster sustained and inclusive economic growth, and promote resilient, democratic societies all over the world. Smith has also served as Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the National Security Council, where she helped lead the U.S. and global response to the Ebola crisis in 2014 and 2015, and as Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for African affairs at the National Security Council.
Before her work on the NSC, Smith founded the Sustainable Security Program at the Center for American Progress, and co-founded the ENOUGH project and the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. She also worked as a journalist and with NGOs in Africa for more than 20 years. Smith is originally from Bexley, Ohio and earned a B.A. from the University of Colorado.