Janet Breslin-Smith travels across cultures, both bureaucratic and geostrategic. As president of Crosswinds International Consulting, she draws on her 30-year career in public service, including leadership roles in the U.S. Senate, the National War College, and in Saudi Arabia, where she focused on higher education and outreach to women. She has written and lectured on strategy and culture, macroeconomics and Islam, women, Islam, and Saudi Arabia. Her article, “The Struggle to Erase Saudi Extremism,” appeared in November 2015 in the New York Times. She is the co-author of The National War College: A History of Strategic Thinking in Peace and War.
Breslin-Smith, a professor of national security strategy for 14 years at the National War College in Washington, D.C., was the first woman to chair that department. She was named Outstanding Professor at the College in 2006. Prior to her academic career, she was legislative director for Sen. Patrick J. Leahy and deputy staff director of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Breslin-Smith resided in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 2009 through 2013, with her husband, Ambassador James Smith. She developed extensive contacts with Saudi women leaders in higher education, medicine, business, banking, and philanthropy. She lectured at Alfaisal University, the Diplomatic Studies Institute and CellA+ women’s business networks. She consulted with Saudi women members newly appointed to the Shura Council.
Breslin-Smith earned her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles and her undergraduate degree in international relations from the University of Southern California.