Melissa Smith, M.D., is a family medicine physician who has worked in poor communities in the US and Central America for three decades, providing medical care and developing training programs for community health workers and midwives. Dr. Smith is the Director of Health Equity Initiatives at UC Santa Barbara, and Deputy Director of Education and Training for the UC Global Health Institute's Women's Health Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise. Dr. Smith teaches a seminar on Community-based Participatory Research on health disparities at UCSB and leads the Global Health in Mexico program with UC Education Abroad.
Dr. Smith's affiliation with CITS relates to her long-term collaboration with Hesperian Health Guides, producing women's health mobile apps and public health manuals that are translated in many languages and available on Hesperian's open-source digital platform which is accessed by millions of people in the Global South. Dr Smith is lead author of Hesperian's recently published book, Health Actions for Women: Practical Strategies to Mobilize for Change. In 2012, Dr. Smith received the University of Washington School of Medicine Alumni Humanitarian award.