smita-singh-profile
  Our People

Smita Singh

Former Chief Strategy Officer, Open Society Foundations and Founding Director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development Program

Smita was most recently Chief Strategy Officer for the Open Society Foundations where she led the development of their strategic direction across global and regional programs.

Smita was also the founding director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development Program. While she was director, the Program carried out extensive international grant-making and started several new initiatives, including the Think Tank Initiative, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and the partnership for Quality Education in Developing Countries. She helped create the International Initiative in Impact Evaluation (3ie), a new international agency devoted to improving the measurement of results in development interventions. She also initiated the Foundation’s efforts to reform development assistance policy and practices which included seeding the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) and the International Aid Transparency Initiative. 

Before joining the Foundation, she was a scholar at the Harvard Academy of International and Area Studies. Her research interests focus on the comparative political economy of developing countries, and she has lived and worked in several countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She has also worked for the Commission on National and Community Service (now called Corporation for National Service), where she was responsible for developing higher education initiatives and funding strategies for dispersing grants to community service and service-learning projects at over 200 colleges and universities. Before joining the commission, she worked at ABC News “Nightline” and prior to that, with community-based women’s organizations in India. Smita sits on the Board of Directors at Oxfam America. Her prior board memberships include the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Twaweza, International Budget Partnership and the Center for Global Development. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and served on the US President’s Global Development Council under Barack Obama.