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DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Susan H. Smith is Director of Operations at the Fellowship of Reconciliation. She assumed this position in December 2018, after involvement in several FOR-USA programs, campaigns, and projects during the past four years. Her first experience with FOR-USA was traveling to Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, during the Ferguson Uprising, where she trained in militant nonviolent civil disobedience and was arrested in a women-of-color-led occupation of the St. Louis Police Department headquarters. In 2015, while host of “From Ferguson to Palestine” radio program at Vassar College, she produced a show highlighting FOR-USA’s work in Ferguson, and another on its Centennial celebration.
In 2016, Susan moderated FOR’s “Women Confronting Islamophobia” symposium at Union Theological Seminary; and published the article “Christianity Is Not the Enemy” in Fellowship magazine. More recently in November 2018, she attended the International Fellowship of Reconciliation’s “On the Move” conference on global migration in Catania, Italy, where she spoke on the topic of “Strategies for Hospitality and Action: Sanctuary from a U.S. Perspective.”
In addition to her duties at FOR-USA, Susan serves as Community Liaison for the Muslim Peace Fellowship, a FOR affiliate. She belongs to the Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center, an intentional residential community of Jews, Christians, and Muslims that help operate the New York retreat center, while engaging in peace and social justice work at local, national, and international levels. Her main areas of interest are: confronting the United States’ military-industrial complex; raising awareness that Islamophobia is a lay ideology manufactured by the U.S. empire to justify its war economy; uncovering and exposing neocolonial root causes of the global refugee crisis; refugee resettlement; and the creation of sanctuary spaces.
Susan brings strong leadership, administrative, operational, organizational, human resources, and communications skills to FOR. She has 15 years’ experience working in nonprofit program management with Islamic Relief USA, Volunteers of America – Greater New York, the Dispute Resolution Center of Orange and Putnam Counties, and as the principal of three Islamic schools. Prior to that, she worked for the United Nations Department of Public Information, U.N. Department of Peace-keeping Operations, and as the assistant and speechwriter of the Ambassador of Lebanon to the United Nations.
Susan holds a master’s Diploma in Middle East Studies from the American University in Cairo and master’s degree in Educational Counseling and Development from Long Island University. She is the author of Biblical Children’s Stories as Told in the Qur’an published by Tahrike Tarsile Quran Press (Elmhurst, NY: 2015).
She is the mother of two daughters, who are her greatest loves and greatest teachers.