Charles D. Smith is professor emeritus of Middle East history in the College of Middle East and North African Studies at the University of Arizona where he served as department head and director of graduate studies. A graduate of Williams College, he received his MA in Middle East Studies from Harvard and his PhD in history from the University of Michigan. Formerly a member of the history faculty at San Diego State University and head of the Near Eastern/Asian Studies Department at Wayne State University , he held visiting appointments at the University of Virginia, George Mason University, Virginia Military Institute, and was the National Endowment for the Humanities Visiting Professor of Middle East history at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993.
A former Fulbright Scholar to Egypt, he was a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1982. He is the former president of the American Research Center in Egypt, 1996-1999, having previously served on its executive board and as vice-president, from 1993-1996.
Professor Smith is the author of Islam and the Search for Social Order in Modern Egypt (1983), Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (1988), 8th edition 2012,, and with co-author Julia Clancy-Smith, The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Documents (2013) . His book on the Arab-Israeli conflict was the first one-volume study to present the topic from the later 19th century onward rather than beginning treatment from World War II. He has published articles in the areas of modern Egypt, nationalism and theories of nationalism, Anglo-French imperialism and the Middle East in World War I, and on Palestinian and Arab-Israeli affairs, and is frequently consulted for his views by press and media, often overseas. .
His most recent journal/book chapter publication are “The United States and the 1967 War” in The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: Origins and Consequences, Wm Roger Louis and Avi Shlaim eds, (Cambridge University Press, 2012), “The Arab-Israeli Conflict” in Louise Fawcett, editor, International Relations of the Middle East, 3rd ed (Oxford University Press, 2013), and “The Arab Spring: First Takes and Later Reflections,’ Middle East Journal (Fall 2013). . Professor Smith served as commentator for the panel on the Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty at the conference on the 1967 War hosted by the US State Department in Washington in January 2004.. He was honored at the 2012 Middle East Studies Association of North America [MESA]meeting as the recipient of the Mentor Award for his work in advising and guiding students at the graduate and undergraduate levels; and at the 2013 MESA meeting, his co-authored book with Julia Clancy-Smith received the book award for the best book on undergraduate education.