Seán Smith is CIVIC’s Peacekeeping Researcher in Mali. His research helps shape CIVIC’s advocacy priorities and policy recommendations regarding MINUSMA and its protection of civilians’ responsibilities. He is currently researching how the Mission processes and responds to the early warnings it receives regarding threats of violence against civilians. His previous research has focused on how critical gaps in MINUSMA’s air assets affect the mission’s ability to protect civilians.

Before joining CIVIC, Seán spent more than five years as a political risk analyst focusing on countries in the Sahel and West Africa, producing reports for multinational businesses to identify the degree of political, economic, regulatory and security risks they might encounter when operating in the region. He also led research projects in Mali for Transparency International’s Defence and Security program and has spent extended periods working or studying in Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

Seán holds an MSc with Distinction in African Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he undertook research on MINUSMA and a BSc Hons in Political Science and Economics from the University of Bath.