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David Smith served as Assistant Dean for International Legal Studies  and then Vice-Dean at  Harvard Law School for over 30 years. At Harvard he taught courses on Law and Social Change in Africa, Law and Economic Change in Africa, Foreign Investment in Natural Resources, and Transnational Corporations. He has served as an advisor on foreign investment, legal education and  natural resource policy to many governments in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, as well as Native American groups in North America.

Some of this advisory work was under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for International Development, the United Nations and the World Bank.  Early in his career Dean Smith worked with the Ministry of Justice in Northern Nigeria on issues of judicial and criminal law reform and as an Assistant Attorney-General In New York State. In recent years he served as Acting Dean of the School of Law and Acting Director of the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong and Professor of Law at Singapore Management University, where he taught courses on ethics and social responsibility.

Dean Smith was admitted to the New York State bar in 1961 and holds a B.A. degree from Harvard College and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. He is the author of two novels set in Africa: The Leo Conversion and Timbuktu. He has written widely on natural resource policy and negotiation of natural resource contracts between host country governments and foreign investors. His recent publications have dealt with finance ethics, ethics and technology and ethics and social responsibility in international business.