Janet Breslin-Smith had the adventure of a lifetime when she accompanied her husband, Ambassador James Smith, to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the first ambassador's wife returning to the Kingdom after a five-year absence. During her four years in the Kingdom, she focused on Saudi women, higher education, youth, and business.
If past is prologue, her professional experience in the U.S. Congress, with the U.S. military and in higher education, paved the way for a rich interaction with a new generation of Saudi women leaders. Breslin-Smith served on the staffs of three U.S. Senators, including Patrick Leahy (D-VT). During her 12 years with Senator Leahy, she was his legislative director and then deputy staff director of the Senate Agriculture Committee when he assumed chairmanship.
Shortly after the Gulf War, she joined the faculty at the National War College, where she taught senior military officers and diplomats, as well as foreign military officers, in a year-long, graduate-level course in national security strategy. She eventually served as department chair and was named Outstanding Professor in 2006. She is the author of the first history of the school, The National War College: A History of Strategic Thinking in War and Peace. Breslin-Smith is the proud mother of a CU graduate, Glenna Breslin, class of 2008.