Benjamin Smith joined HD in 2018. He manages the organisation’s approach to learning and operational support to the field. Before joining HD, Ben worked with the United Nations (UN) for thirteen years, specializing in mediation and political affairs, the security sector, peacekeeping and transnational crime. He was based with the UN in several countries, including Nepal, South Sudan, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. Most recently, he was head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s programme to combat human trafficking in SE Asia and the Pacific. Prior to that, he was the Africa Team Leader for the UN Mediation Support Unit, where he also acted as the departmental lead on ceasefires and security arrangements. He was also the Officer-in-Charge of the SSR Sections in the UN Mission in South Sudan and the UN Mission in Nepal. At the start of his UN-related career, Ben negotiated UN General Assembly resolutions on behalf of the EU and the UK Government. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Master’s degree in Modern History and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford.
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is a Swiss-based private diplomacy organisation founded on the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. Our mission is to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflict through dialogue and mediation.
As a Swiss nonprofit Foundation, HD is supervised by a Board, which serves on a voluntary basis. It sets the mission and the general policy of the Foundation and provides overall supervision of the development and implementation of the organisation’s programme and administration, as managed by the Senior Management Team.
HD’s team has grown from a small group of 6 people in 1999 to more than 300 from over 40 different nationalities today, supervised by a 11 member Senior Management Team. The organisation is made up of individuals driven by meaningful objectives who are dedicated to making a difference through peace and mediation efforts.