The first lecture in the Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations 2007-2008 lecture series was held at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2008 in Bowl 1, Robertson Hall on the Princeton University campus. The lecture, “Religion in World Affairs: Its Role in Conflict and Peace,” was presented by guest speaker David Smock, Vice-President of the Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at the United States Institute of Peace, and Associate Vice-President of USIP’s Religion and Peacemaking Program.
Smock has worked on African issues for over thirty years and lived in Africa for eleven years. As a staff member of the Ford Foundation from 1964 to 1980, he served in Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, and New York. From 1980 to 1986, Smock served concurrently as Director of the South African Education Program, a scholarship program that brings black South African students to U.S. universities, and Vice-President for Program Development and Research for the Institute of International Education. After serving as Executive Associate to the President of the United Church of Christ from 1986 to 1989, Smock became Executive Director of International Voluntary Services, supervising development projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Smock received a PhD in anthropology from Cornell University and a MDiv from New York Theological Seminary.