Meet Our Staff

Country Director:                                                       

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer has over 15 years’ experience in the field of SME creation & management, with particular focus upon vocational training and skills development, social enterprise, and entrepreneurship in developing countries. Upon completion of her graduate studies and formative years as an investment banker in London, she moved to Morocco in 2002 to create a boutique hotel and restaurant in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Fez Medina. This venture is now managed by her long-standing Moroccan team.

In 2014, Jennifer joined the INGO Friends International as the Lao PDR Coordinator for tourism & hospitality TVET social businesses. In this capacity, she was responsible for ensuring the relevance and quality of training curricula as well as building the capacity of trainers and job placement officers to ensure graduates’ successful transition to employment. In 2016, Jennifer became the Country Manager of Emerging Markets Consulting, a management consulting firm providing technical assistance to clients such as the UN, World Bank, GIZ, and major INGOs. Her project work comprised TVET and labor market assessments and modalities, monitoring & evaluation, economic development in marginalized communities, and supporting and coaching entrepreneurs.

Jennifer joined AMIDEAST in May 2018 as the Country Director, Tunisia.

She has served as Vice President of the Regional Hotel and Guesthouse Association in Fes-Boulemane, a Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Lao PDR, and a Board member of the USG-funded Women’s Entrepreneurship Center in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Jennifer holds a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University, a MA in International Relations from SOAS, University of London, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for independent research in Syria. She is also a professional chef and recipient of a Cordon Bleu diploma.