Gentry O. Smith

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Gentry O. Smith
Gentry Smith, Assistant Secretary of State 2.jpg
Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security
Assumed office
August 12, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byMichael Evanoff
Director of the Office of Foreign Missions
In office
June 19, 2015 – January 26, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byEric J. Boswell
Succeeded byCliff Seagroves
Personal details
Born1959 (age 63–64)
EducationNorth Carolina State University (BA)

Gentry O. Smith (born 1959) is an American foreign service officer serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security since August 2021. From June 2015 to January 2017, he was Director of the Office of Foreign Missions.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Smith was born to two schoolteachers in Halifax County, North Carolina. He attended Weldon High School in Weldon, North Carolina. He ran track and field and played wide receiver and defensive end on the school's football team. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from North Carolina State University.


Smith served as a police officer in the Raleigh Police Department for four years, through 1987, when he went to work for the United States Department of State.[2]

In 2000, he was deputy regional security officer in Cairo. In 2004, he was regional security officer in Tokyo. He was director of the Office of Physical Security Programs. In 2009, he was as deputy assistant secretary and assistant director for countermeasures.[3][4] In 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Smith as Director of the Office of Foreign Missions.[5]

On January 26, 2017, when Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump's nominee for United States Secretary of State, visited the United States State Department, Smith, Patrick F. Kennedy, Joyce Anne Barr, and Michele Bond were all simultaneously asked to resign.[6][7]

In November 2020, Smith was named a volunteer member of the Joe Biden presidential transition Agency Review Team to support transition efforts related to the United States Department of State.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Smith is married and has four children.[2]


  1. ^ "Gentry O. Smith - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  2. ^ a b "Former Raleigh police officer named US ambassador | News & Observer". Archived from the original on 2015-07-31.
  3. ^ "AllGov - News".
  4. ^ "Smith, Gentry O. - Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Director for Countermeasures". U.S. Department of State.
  5. ^ "Former Raleigh police officer is Obama nominee | News & Observer". Archived from the original on 2017-02-03.
  6. ^ Labott, Elise (January 27, 2017). "Trump administration asks top State Department officials to leave". CNN.
  7. ^ Halper, Daniel; Fredericks, Bob (January 26, 2017). "Top State Dept. officials exit after Tillerson visit". New York Post.
  8. ^ "Agency Review Teams". President-Elect Joe Biden. Retrieved 10 November 2020.

External links[edit]