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Expert in Chinese diplomacy is new commander of USU’s Air Force ROTC

SHARE Expert in Chinese diplomacy is new commander of USU’s Air Force ROTC
Lt. Col. Steven Smith is the new director of Utah State University's Air Force ROTC program in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Lt. Col. Steven Smith is the new director of Utah State University’s Air Force ROTC program in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Utah State University

LOGAN — Lt. Col. Steven Smith this month takes command of some 110 Air Force cadets in Utah State University’s Air Force ROTC program.

Smith replaces Lt. Col. Alex Dubovik as professor of aerospace studies in USU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The position is a three-year active-duty posting.

Smith, a graduate of Provo High School and BYU’s ROTC program, served in the Utah Army Utah National Guard for eight years.

After graduating from BYU and earning his commission through the BYU ROTC program, he spent six years as an intelligence officer. He was named an Olmsted Scholar, one of five such distinctions awarded annually in the Air Force, and was assigned to China to continue his education.

After earning a master’s degree in international politics from Shanghai’s Fudan University, Smith worked as a regional affairs strategist at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii, where he was responsible for managing and overseeing interactions between the United States and the air forces of China and Taiwan.

Smith has worked in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea, as well as an assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Following his years in China, Smith attended Air Command and Staff College School and the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, both at Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery, Alabama. Most recently, he earned his doctorate in international studies at the University of Washington, writing his dissertation on the growth of Chinese military diplomacy between 2002 and 2012.

When Smith finishes his three-year stint at USU, he will return to Maxwell Air Force Base to join the faculty of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.