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Jeffrey T. Smith
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As an Advocacy Officer with RFK Partners for Human Rights, Jeffrey Smith manages the RFK Center’s partnership with 2009 Human Rights Award Laureates Magodonga Mahlangu and Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), which is a grassroots movement of over 80,000 citizens that has been at the forefront of the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe since 2003. Mr. Smith assists WOZA with domestic and international advocacy efforts, strategy development, and capacity building. Mr. Smith works closely with civil society leaders and human rights defenders throughout Zimbabwe to actively promote respect for human rights and advance the rule of law.

Mr. Smith has a decade of experience in human rights and democracy promotion work, including prior positions at Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Organization (UNESCO). He also has conducted human rights and civil society assessment missions in several African countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Kenya.

Mr. Smith has appeared as an expert commentator in a range of publications and media outlets, including Voice of America, Short Wave Radio Africa, Radio-France International, Thomson-Reuters, The Atlantic, and The Guardian newspaper. He is a 2003 graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he also received a master’s degree in international relations and was the university’s first recipient of its distinguished Human Rights Graduate Certificate. Mr. Smith also serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Faith and Human Rights, which works with nongovernmental organizations, churches, and government officials to both promote and ensure social justice throughout Africa.

Twitter: @Smith_RFKennedy

Entries by Jeffrey T. Smith

On Human Rights Day, Maintain Focus on Protecting Peaceful Protest and Assembly

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 12:03 PM

Since 1950, December 10 has been internationally recognized as Human Rights Day, which celebrates the decision by the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), proudly proclaiming its principles and aspirations as the "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations." While...

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US Should Rethink 'Democracy Promotion' in Southern Africa

(4) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 7:54 PM

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was recently reelected to serve a seventh consecutive term in office. Should he manage to serve the full five years as permitted by the constitution, Mugabe will stand a spry 94 years old at the end of his term, with the Zimbabwe African National Union...

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Zimbabwe's Assault on LGBTI Group Indicative of Larger, Worrisome Trend

(3) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 9:30 PM

With a constitutional referendum and historic elections looming in Zimbabwe, one might assume that those in power would seek to burnish their deficient democratic credentials. Instead, the Government of National Unity (GNU), largely dominated by President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), has doubled down, intensifying...

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