Dina Smeltz

Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

Areas of expertise: Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy, Policy & Politics, Public Opinion, North America


With 25 years of experience designing and fielding international social and political surveys, Dina Smeltz joined the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as senior fellow on public opinion and foreign policy in 2012. She oversees the Council’s well-known annual survey of American attitudes toward foreign policy and has authored and coauthored many of the analyses based on that work. She also directs the Council’s collaboration with Russian, Mexican, Canadian, Australian, and East Asian research organizations. Smeltz has published commentary on public opinion and international issues in The Washington Post, RealClearWorld, Foreign Policy, and the Council’s survey blog (Running Numbers).

As the director of research in the Middle East and South Asia division (2001-2007) and analyst/director of the European division (1992-2004) in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US State Department's Office of Research, Smeltz conducted over a hundred surveys in these regions and regularly briefed senior government officials on key research findings. Her experience includes mass public and elite surveys, as well as qualitative research. She has written numerous policy-relevant reports on Arab, Muslim, and South Asian regional attitudes toward political, economic, social, and foreign policy issues. Her writing also includes policy briefs and reports on the post-1989 political transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and European attitudes toward a wide range foreign policy issues including globalization, European integration, immigration, NATO, and European security.

With a special emphasis research in post-conflict situations (informally referred to as a "combat pollster"), Smeltz has worked with research teams in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, Israel-Palestinian Territories, and in Iraq (2003-2005), where she was one of the few people on the ground who could accurately report average Iraqis impressions of the post-war situation. Smeltz has consulted for several NGOs and research organizations on projects spanning women's development in Afghanistan, civil society in Egypt, and evaluating voter education efforts in Iraq.

Smeltz has an MA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Pennsylvania State University.


Cooperation and Hedging: Comparing US and South Korean Views of China

Cooperation and Hedging: Comparing US and South Korean Views of China

, By Karl Friedhoff, Fellow, Public Opinion and Asia Policy; Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; J. James Kim, Senior Fellow, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies; Kang Chungku, Senior Associate, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies; Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow and Director of the Program on US-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations; And other participants

In the News

Americans Aren't as Eager to Retreat from the Middle East as Politicians Seem to Think

The Hill , February 20, 2020

Palestinians and Israeli Public Support for a Two State Solution Reach New Lows

Running Numbers, February 20, 2020

Americans Want to Be Engaged with the World—the Question Is How

The National Interest, November 2, 2019

Moscow Elites and the Use of Coercive Foreign Policy

Post-Soviet Affairs, October 23, 2019

Democrats and Republicans Must Find Common Ground on Climate Change

The Statesman, September 23, 2019

Deep Dish: American Foreign Policy in the 2020 Election

Global Insight, September 19, 2019

The Case for More Foreign Policy in the 2020 Debates

Vox, July 30, 2019

Trump and His Advisers Are Probably Wrong about What Foreign Policy Americans Want

The Washington Post, July 3, 2019

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