Karen Smith served as Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect from January 2019 to July 2021. She currently teaches International Relations at the Institute for History at Leiden University, the Netherlands, and is an honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies from 2011-2017. Before that, she taught at the universities of Stellenbosch (2000-2010) and the Western Cape (2003-2004), both in South Africa. Between 2006 and 2007, she served as Secretary-General of the United Nations Association of South Africa.
Dr. Smith holds a PhD in International Relations from Stellenbosch University (2005). She has a research focus on non-Western contributions to international relations theory, as well as on the changing global order. Her most recent publication is a co-edited book: International Relations from the Global South (co-edited with Arlene Tickner, 2020 Routledge). She is on LinkedIn.