Smotrich headshot

Leland Fellow

Amit Smotrich

10th Class, 2019-2021

Amit holds a Masters in Global Human Development from Georgetown University with a on food security and environment. Her capstone project with Mercy Corps highlighted ways to integrate resilience programming in fragile contexts and her summer field placement with CARE in Guatemala focused on improving access to WASH in public primary schools. Prior to attending Georgetown, Amit led Food Security and WASH advocacy at InterAction where she managed diverse coalitions of NGOs, government partners, and research institutions to strengthen international development policy, programs and funding. These efforts resulted in the passage of the 2016 Global Food Security Act, strong Congressional support for foreign assistance, and improved coordination among the NGO community. Amit's interests lie at the intersection of agriculture and livelihoods development, resilience, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. She is originally from Westchester, New York.

Host Organization: Helen Keller International

First Year Placement
Dhaka, Bangladesh

In her first year placement, Amit supported the Sustainable Agriculture and Production Linked to Improved Nutrition Status, Resilience and Gender Equality (SAPLING) project, a Food for Peace Development Food Security Activity in Bandarban District of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. She provided technical support to the project’s integrated food security and livelihoods team, and supported senior management on strategic planning and reporting activities to USAID. She also collected and shared program innovations and participant success stories contributing to the project’s Collaborating, Learning and Adapting agenda and created tools to strengthen the project’s social and behavior change efforts. During COVID-19, Amit helped the project transition to remote work and digital support for participants.

Second Year Placement
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

In this second year Amit is splitting her time between supporting USAID’s Integrated Early Childhood Development project and Helen Keller’s Asia Pacific Regional Office. For the IECD project she is developing the project’s income generation strategy as well as supporting the development of protocols and targeting manuals for the homestead food production and nutrition components. With the support from the directors across Helen Keller’s seven country offices as well as regional technical advisors, Amit is cataloguing the evolution of the household gardening for nutrition approach into a model for improving local food systems and improving resiliency.

Publications & Blog Posts