A career Foreign Service Officer, M. Hanscom Smith has held assignments at the U.S. Embassies in Yaounde, Copenhagen, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, and Kabul. In addition, he has been assigned to the Office of Japan Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and has worked at the American Institute in Taiwan. Mr. Smith was most recently serving as team leader at the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in Muthanna Province, Iraq. In 2012, he will begin an assignment as economic minister at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Mr. Smith holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MA from the London School of Economics and Princeton University. His foreign languages are French, Danish, Khmer, and Mandarin Chinese.
During his fellowship tenure at the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo, Japan, Mr. Smith researched how Japan's "soft power" can be enhanced to benefit the U.S.-Japan alliance, with a particular emphasis on economic policy, Japan's role in East Asia, and global issues such as humanitarian relief and education.