Raymond A. Smith, Ph.D., LL.M., is an Executive Committee member and faculty member of the University of Arizona's Program in Human Rights Practice, as well as its B.A. Degree Manager. A political scientist, Dr. Smith joined UA in 2018 after spending more than 20 years in New York City, where he was on the adjunct political science faculties at Columbia and NYU. Dr. Smith continues to be an Adjunct Associate Professor with the NYU School of Professional Studies. Previously at the University of Arizona, he was also Assistant Director of the Master's in Development Practice Program (MDP) Program, in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment (SGDE) and has taught in the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP).
In 2019, Dr. Smith published a book entitled Extending International Human Rights Protections to Vulnerable Populations (Routledge FOCUS, 2019). In 2017, he undertook an LL.M. (master of laws) in international human rights law at the University of Essex in the UK. His prior graduate degrees are a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia, where he was a President’s Fellow, and an M.A. in international relations from Yale, where he was a Fellow of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a Teaching Fellow.
At Essex, Dr. Smith’s work included a project to enhance the capacity of the World Health Organization (WHO) to engage with the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of compliance by states with their international treaty obligations. In 2015, Dr. Smith was a civil society representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, and has attended sessions of the Human Rights Council and of treaty bodies at the United Nations in Geneva. He has also collaborated with the global LGBTIQ human rights organization OutRight Action International and with the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA).
Dr. Smith has worked extensively on the international HIV/AIDS epidemic, including more than a decade as a researcher and administrator at the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the Columbia University Medical Center. In this capacity, his roles included five years as associate program director of a fellowship for emerging community leaders in HIV prevention in urban and rural South Africa. Prior to this, he was also Research Director at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) in Washington, DC. Dr. Smith is the author, co-author, or editor of a number of HIV/AIDS related books, including: Global HIV/AIDS Politics, Policy, and Activism: Persistent Challenges and Emerging Issues (3 volume multi-author bookset); Drugs Into Bodies: Global AIDS Treatment Activism; and the first-ever international Encyclopedia of AIDS: A Social, Political, Cultural, and Scientific Record of the HIV Epidemic.
Dr. Smith is also author or co-author of several books on politics, including: The American Anomaly; Importing Democracy; The Politics of Sexuality: Primary Documents with Commentary; and Gay and Lesbian Americans and Political Participation. He was also a Senior Fellow with with the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a thinktank in Washington DC, through which his political commentary has appeared in The Washington Post, The Hill, Huffington Post, Politico Magazine, The Daily Beast, Washington Monthly, and The New York Times Op-Ed page.