Hazel Smith is Professor of Humanitarianism and Security at Cranfield University, UK, a member of the Research Committee of the UK Economic and Social Research Council and an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her core area of research is on the economics, society, politics and international relations of North Korea. She has researched the country for over twenty years and lived and worked in North Korea for nearly two years, on secondment to UNICEF and the World Food Programme.

Hazel retains close contacts with international organisations working in and on North Korea. In 2009, she was asked by the UN Secretariat to be part of its global expert panel on Korea. Hazel also works on broader issues concerning international humanitarianism.  For example, in 2012 she was appointed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as one of six members in the Global Expert Panel to review FAO disaster risk reduction programmes in Asia and Latin America. 

Professor Smith has published extensively in scholarly journals and newspapers and is recognised internationally as an authority on North Korea. In May 2002, she was invited by the US NGO AmeriCares to be one of a five-member Honorary Committee – along with then President George W. Bush, the US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte, the Governor of New York George Pataki and the Governor of Connecticut -- to commemorate the 20th anniversary of AmeriCares operations.