Benjamin Smith joined HD in 2018. He heads up the organisation’s approach to learning, guidance and expert advisory 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.