Mary Oakes Smith is the founder and president of the Iraqi Women’s Fellowship Foundation that brings women faculty in the sciences and technology to top U.S. universities for up to one academic year. The fellows return to their Iraqi universities with cutting edge knowledge in their fields, as well as new teaching and research technologies. The program establishes cultural exchange and long-term relationships between the fellows’ home and host universities.
Smith has had a 30-year career with the World Bank, specializing in industry, energy, and telecommunications. She also managed two major financial replenishments for the International Development Association, achieving $31 billion in total funding. She was appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the Advisory Board for the Fund for International Partnerships, the UN counterpart to the UN Foundation, guiding the development of strategic frameworks for funding for children and health, women and population, the environment, and peace and human rights. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the UN Association for the National Capital Area, an active member of the Bretton Woods Committee and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. She graduated from Smith College in political science. Several years thereafter, she graduated as a Sloan Fellow from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and has served as a member of the Sloan School Board of Governors.