Stephen D. Smith, PhD

Executive Director Emeritus

Dr. Stephen D. Smith is an adjunct Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California. For twelve years he served as the executive director of the Institute.

Smith founded the UK Holocaust Centre in 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. Smith was the project director responsible for the creation of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Rwanda and trustee of the South Africa Holocaust and Genocide Foundation. 

Smith has produced several documentary films. These include The Last Goodbye, an award-winning, virtual-reality film that transports viewers inside the Nazi death camp Majdanek, and The Girl and The Picture, an award-winning documentary that centers on a survivor of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China.

Smith lectures widely on issues relating to his expertise. His publications include Never Again! Yet Again!: A Personal Struggle with the Holocaust and Genocide. In recognition of his work, Smith has become a member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion. He also holds two honorary doctorates, Honorary Doctor of Letters from Nottingham Trent University and Honorary Doctor of Laws from University of Leicester.

Opinion Pieces

“On Our First Holocaust Survivors Day.” Jewish Journal, June 24, 2021

“Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre.” Jewish Journal, May 30, 2021

“Luke Holland’s ‘Final Account’ is unsettling. That’s why you need to watch it.” Forward, May 13, 2021

“Recognizing Armenian Genocide Was Long Overdue, But It’s Not Enough” Jewish Journal, April 25, 2021

“The Memory Generation: Sidney Bernstein is the reason we know what the Nazi concentration camps looked like.” Jewish Journal, April 14, 2021

“Why Passover is a Universal Holiday.” Jewish Journal, March 26, 2021

“China’s Genocide Against the Uyghurs.” Jewish Journal, March 16, 2021

“Hungary’s Crackdown on Artists and Academics.” Jewish Journal, March 2, 2021

“3 years after Parkland, only education can battle resurgent conspiracy theories.” Forward, February 14, 2021

“Patterns of History.” Newsweek, January 14, 2021

“The Capitol Riot Proves We Need to Educate.” Jewish Journal, January 11, 2021

“China is committing a genocide. Silence is not an option.” Forward, December 4, 2020

“Why We Should Discuss Racism at Holocaust Museums.” Jewish Journal, December 3, 2020

“Facebook’s Move on Holocaust Denialism Is Too Late.” Jewish Journal, October 15, 2020

“Jews must stand up for the rights of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.” Forward, October 8, 2020

"Stop the fear-mongering. Holocaust education is good - and it works." Forward, September 18, 2020

“A USC student was told her Zionism ‘made her complicit in racism’” Forward, August 6, 2020

“Since we’re debating labels, stop calling it anti-Semitism. It’s Jew hatred.” Forward, July 7, 2020

“Reckoning with Race.” Jewish Journal, June 16, 2020

“Holocaust Survivors Teach Us ‘There Is No Forgiveness Without Rage’.” Jewish Journal, May 31, 2020

“New App IWalk Preserves Holocaust Survivors’ Stories, Where They Took Place.” Jewish Journal, April 20, 2020

“As Loneliness Grows, What We Can Learn from Holocaust Survivors.” Jewish Journal, April 6, 2020

“Shoah Foundation Head: Bigots Prey on Coronavirus to Incite Hate.” Jewish Journal, March 27, 2020

“Shoah Foundation Director: Amazon Must Cancel ‘Hunters’.” Jewish Journal, March 12, 2020

“Survivors’ stories remind us of Holocaust horror.” Detroit News, January 26, 2020

“Life After Auschwitz.” Jewish Journal, January 22, 2020

“Spate of Anti-Semitic Incidents Shows that ‘Action is Your Cue’.” Jewish Journal, December 19, 2019

“Impressions from ADL Conference: Future, Not Fear.” Jewish Journal, November 27, 2019

“Russia-Turkey deal increases chances of ethnic cleansing.” The Hill, October 26, 2019

“What Do Jews and Kurds Have in Common?” Jewish Journal, October 25, 2019

“Response to Halle Yom Kippur Attack: We Must Be Stronger Than Hate.” Jewish Journal, October 9, 2019

“Stopping ‘Xenocide’ in the 21st Century.” Jewish Journal, August 5, 2019

“The Incredible Story of a Munich Soccer Team During the Holocaust Offers a Lesson.” Jewish Journal, July 16, 2019

“When is it Appropriate to Draw Lessons From the Holocaust?” Jewish Journal, June 21, 2019

“A Christian Killer in Poway.” Jewish Journal, April 30, 2019

“New Zealand Murders: There Are No Words.” Jewish Journal, April 3, 2019

“‘Schindler’s List’ more relevant than ever.” Detroit News, December 6, 2018

“Words That Kill: The Genocidal Nature of Anti-Semitism.” Jewish Journal, October 28, 2018

“Four More Campuses Hit by Anti-Semitism.” Jewish Journal, October 24, 2018

“Mandate an End to Holocaust Ignorance.” Jewish Journal, April 18, 2018

“It’s Time to Speak Up for the Rohingya.” Jewish Journal, November 30, 2017