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DavidSmolansky headshot - David Smolansky

David Smolansky

Chair of Working Group on Venezuelan Migration and Refugee Crisis, Organization of American States

Smolansky holds a B.A in journalism from Universidad Católica Bello and M.A in political science from Universidad Simón Bolívar. He is also a Global Competitiveness Leadership Program alumni of Georgetown University and was awarded in 2015 “Outstanding Young Person of the World” by the Junior Chamber International. Smolansky began his career as a politician when he co-founded the Venezuelan Student Movement in 2007, leading non violent protests against Hugo Chavez. He also co-founded Voluntad Popular, one of the main opposition political parties in Venezuela, and became Deputy Secretary General of that organization.

In 2013, Smolansky was elected mayor of El Hatillo in Caracas, at age 28, becoming the youngest local authority in the country. Security and transparency became the priorities of his administration, making El Hatillo a reference in public management during times of crisis and dictatorship in Venezuela. In August of 2017, the Supreme Court, controlled by the regime, removed Smolansky from office after 4 consecutive months of non violent protests against Nicolás Maduro. He was forced to be in clandestinity for 35 days until he fled the country through the border with Brazil. Smolansky is based during his exile in Washington D.C. where he is a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University and was recognized with the GCL Impact Award 2018. Due to his current international diplomatic efforts, advocating for the Venezuelan cause, Smolansky was chosen by Americas Quarterly magazine as one of the top ten people who will rebuild Venezuela.