Dr. Stephen D. Smith is Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.
Stephen founded the UK Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide. He was also the inaugural Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which runs the National Holocaust Memorial Day in the United Kingdom. In 2009, Holocaust Memorial Day included over five hundred public memorial events.
Stephen is involved in memorial projects around the world. He was the project director responsible for the creation of the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda and provided consultation for the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, where he still serves as a trustee.
Stephen is a theologian by training with a particular interest in the impact of the Holocaust on religious and philosophical thought and practice. He wrote his dissertation on the “Trajectory of Memory,” examining how Holocaust survivor narrative — and in particular, visual history — has developed over time and shapes the way in which the implications of the Holocaust are understood.
Stephen is an international speaker, lecturing widely on issues relating to the history and collective response to the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity. His publications include Making Memory: Creating Britain’s First Holocaust Centre; Forgotten Places: The Holocaust and the Remnants of Destruction; and The Holocaust and the Christian World. He has taught extensively in Lithuania and has been a member of the International Task Force for Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research since its inception in 1998.
In recognition of his work, Stephen has become a Member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion, the Andrew Cross Award for religious broadcasting, and Honorary Doctorate of Law from Leicester University.
Stephen is committed to making the testimony of survivors of the Holocaust and of other genocides a compelling voice for education and action. His leadership at the USC Shoah Foundation Institute is focused on finding strategies to optimize the effectiveness of the testimonies for education, research, and advocacy purposes.
- Never Again, Yet Again, A Personal Struggle with the Holocaust and Genocide (Gefen 2009)
- No Going Back, Letters to Pope Benedict XVI (Quill Press 2009)
- The Void; In Search of Memory Lost (forthcoming)