Gentry O. Smith was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security (DS) on August 12, 2021. In this capacity, Mr. Smith oversees the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Department of State. DS is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy throughout the world. Mr. Smith leads a force of Special Agents, Diplomatic Couriers, Security Engineering Officers, Security Technical Specialists, contractors, other security specialists, and administrative personnel.
Mr. Smith joined DS as a special agent in 1987. Over the course of his DS career, he served as Director of the Office of Physical Security Programs, as Regional Security Officer at U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Japan, and at U.S. Embassy Rangoon, Burma. He also served as a security officer and as Deputy Regional Security Officer during two separate tours at U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt. In October 2009, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Director for Countermeasures where he oversaw the physical and technical security of U.S. diplomatic missions overseas, holding the rank of Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service.
Mr. Smith left DS in 2014 to become Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions, where he held the rank of Ambassador. He retired from the U.S. Department of State in February 2017.
Mr. Smith is the recipient of numerous State Department honors and awards. He has served as a guest lecturer to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Security Officers Course, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, Virginia Homicide Investigators Association, and several colleges and universities.
A former police officer in Raleigh, North Carolina, before joining DS, Mr. Smith is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.