Stephanie Danes Smith is a professor in the School of Media and Journalism and also teaches in the School of Communication Studies and the College of Communication and Information. Her focus areas include social and transnational movements, global communication, public affairs and risk and warning communication. She is also the faculty coordinator for CCI's Media Advocacy Minor.
Stephanie 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).
Stephanie was a member of CIA's Senior Intelligence Service in 2000 and achieved its highest rank. She was the first woman to lead 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.
During her federal career, Stephanie achieved three other significant firsts. In 2008, she became the first civilian and first CIA senior executive selected to serve as Deputy Director of the United States Navy's Shore Readiness Division. In 2006, she 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. And in 2004, Stephanie was the first CIA executive chosen to serve as Executive Director for Administration of the U.S. National Security Council under Dr. Condoleezza Rice.