James M Smith

Aegis Trust, CEO

James Smith is CEO of the Aegis Trust and President of the UK National Holocaust Centre, both of which he co-founded. Qualified as a medical doctor in Leeds, 1993, it was his involvement in humanitarian response to the Kosovo crisis in 1999 which convinced him that the public health approach to disease prevention should also be applied to genocide prevention. Collaborating with the UK Foreign Office, in 2002 he staged the first major international conference on genocide prevention. In 2004, working with the Rwandan Government and Kigali City Council, he played a key role in establishing the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda's capital, at a site where some 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide lie buried. It receives tens of thousands of visitors each year, world leaders among them. The Peace Education programme led by Aegis in Rwanda is now being applied as a tool for prevention by community leaders in countries at risk of mass atrocities, notably in Central African Republic, South Sudan and Kenya. He was awarded the CBE in the New Years Honours List in 2014 for services to Holocaust education and genocide prevention.