Dan Smith took up the post of Secretary General of International Alert in December 2003, coming from a distinguished research career that led to active involvement in peace processes.
He was Director of the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) from 1993 to 2001 and led PRIO into active engagement in conflict resolution. He both established projects and worked directly on negotiation and dialogue in a number of areas including the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. Before PRIO, he was Associate Director of the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam) 1988-1991 and Director 1991-1993, He has also held research positions at the Richardson Institute for Peace & Conflict Research; at Birkbeck College, London; at the Norwegian Nobel Institute; and at the Hellenic Foundation for Foreign & European Policy in Athens. Dan was Chair of the Board at the London-based Institute for War & Peace Reporting from 1992 to 2006 and is today a member of the UN Peace building Fund's Advisory Board.
Dan is the author/co-author of 10 books including successive editions The State of the World Atlas and The Atlas of War and Peace, as well as over 100 journal articles and chapters in anthologies. His most recent major work is The State of the Middle East, published in October 2006.