Professor Danes Smith retired in 2011 from the United State Federal Government, after 27 years of service, 25 of them with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She also had significant executive experience in defense (U.S. Navy) and public diplomacy (Department of State). As a Senior Intelligence Service executive in the CIA, Smith led thousands of employees; designed and managed programs worth several billion dollars; interacted regularly with Congress; and traveled extensively, including throughout two war zones (Afghanistan and Iraq).
She was selected as a member of CIA's Senior Intelligence Service in 2000 and achieved its highest rank. Smith led the largest of CIA's four directorates, the Directorate of Support, and reported directly to the Director of CIA for hiring, security, global logistics, facility support, finance, acquisitions and medical services worldwide. In this role, Smith was also accountable to Congress, the media, and the American public.
In 2008, Professor Smith became the first civilian and first CIA senior executive selected to serve as Deputy Director of the United States Navy's Shore Readiness Division, where she represented the Navy's $9 billion shore investment portfolio. Prior to her assignment with the U.S. Navy, Professor Smith was selected as the first CIA Senior Advisor to Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department, where she co-founded the Department's Counterterrorism Communications Center to strengthen and integrate all United States Government counter-terrorism messaging.
In 2004, Professor Smith was the first CIA executive chosen to serve as Executive Director for Administration of the U.S. National Security Council under Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Professor Smith is involved in the following university and community service boards: member, Community Advisory Board of Kent State University Trumbull Campus; member, the Advisory Board for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Kent State; and member of the Alliance for Substance Abuse and Prevention in Trumbull County. Professor Smith teaches within the Schools of Media and Journalism and Communication Studies, as well as teaching several classes for the College of Communication and Information.
Professor Smith's work has been recognized with several awards, honors, and distinctions. As a federal executive, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, which is awarded exclusively for performance of outstanding services which constitute a major contribution to the mission of the Central Intelligence Agency. During her career in intelligence, she was also awarded the CIA’s Director's Award, the CIA Certificate of Distinction, 20 CIA Exceptional Performance Awards. She is also the recipient of a U.S. Navy Special Act Award. At Kent State, Professor Smith was honored with the Faculty Recognition Award in 2015 and 2016; the Mothers, Mentors and Muses award in 2014; and the William D.Taylor Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University, She was also the commencement speaker for Kent State's fall 2015 undergraduate commencement.
Among the courses she regularly teaches are the following: Introduction to Media Advocacy (CCI 20001) Media and Movements Seminar (CCI 45091/44091) Communicating Risk: Pandemics and Global Crises (CCI 40095/50095) Terrorism and Communication (COMM 45776) Communication in a Global Society (COMM 45766) Principles of Public Relations (JMC 28001) Public Affairs (JMC 40295-001/JMC 60195-002) Crisis Communication (JMC 40295-004/JMC 60195-004)
Professor Smith is the faculty coordinator for CCI's Media Advocacy Minor. In the 2020-2021 academic year, she serves on the following MDJ committees: Academic Complaint, Alumni Awards, Recruitment & Outrech.
Master of Public Administration, Harvard University, Bachelor of Science, Journalism, Kent State University
School of Journalism and Mass Communication of Kent State University's Professional Advisory Board, Central Intelligence Retirees Association
Distinguished Intelligence Medal, CIA’s Director's Award, CIA Certificate of Distinction, U.S. Navy Special Act Award, William D. Taylor Distinguished Alumni Award