Gayle Smith is a renowned expert on African politics and economics. She has worked on failed states, post-conflict management, and transnational threats in Africa for over 20 years. She served as Special Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council under the Clinton Administration. Smith negotiated a ceasefire between Uganda and Rwanda in 1999 and won the National Security Council's Samuel Nelson Drew Award for Distinguished Contribution in Pursuit of Global Peace for her role in the negotiated peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia. She has travelled extensively in active war zones and published pioneering analyses of political emergencies and humanitarian interventions in Africa in particular.