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Jenifer Smith, PhD

Photo of Jenifer Smith, PhD

Dr. Jenifer Smith was appointed as the Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) in July 2015. Smith is a retired Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Special Agent, having served for 23 years, and was formerly a faculty member at Pennsylvania State University from 2010-2015.

At the FBI Smith oversaw DNA analysis, implemented numerous analysis methods and testified in hundreds of cases. As a member of the US Government Senior Executive Service, her final assignment with the FBI was Chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Intelligence Analysis Section. Smith also led the CIA’s Biological Technology Center and has served on several federal advisory groups that support national security entities concerned with microbial forensics.

As a DFS consultant, Smith provided her expertise in assessing the findings of the Independent Audit of the Forensic Biology Unit, and provided her recommendation for trainings on DNA mixture interpretation. As a direct result, the Assessors from ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) in their follow up assessment in June 2015 accepted all of the Department’s corrective action responses.

Smith’s goals for DFS include strengthening communication and collaboration between DFS and key agencies while maintaining scientific integrity and independence; emphasizing strong management and fiscal responsibility; and conducting and delivering the highest quality testing and results.

Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University, a PhD in Physiological Chemistry from Ohio State University and Post Doctorate from Harvard University.  

Employment history:
2010-present Professor of Practice, Forensic Science, Pennsylvania State University
2009-present Principal of BioForensic Consulting LLC
1986-2009 Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
2006-2009 Section Chief and Senior Executive WMD Intelligence Analysis Section, WMD Directorate, FBI
2002-2006 Chief Biological Technology Center, Directorate of Science and Technology, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
1995-2002 Unit Chief, DNA Analysis Unit, FBI Laboratory
1990-1995 Examiner (Serology and DNA), DNA Analysis Unit, FBI Laboratory
1980 Intern, New York City Medical Examiner