Sarah Fountain Smith was appointed as Canada’s assistant deputy minister of Global Issues and Development in March 2016. She is responsible for humanitarian assistance, multilateral development programming, priority thematic policy issues such as the empowerment of women and girls, health and education, inclusive and green economic growth, and Canada’s relations with international organizations.
From 2012 to 2013, Fountain Smith was director general of the International Organizations, Human Rights and Democracy Bureau, with responsibility for Canada’s engagement in the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Francophonie, and international human rights and democracy issues. In 2013, with the amalgamation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency and until 2016, Fountain Smith became director general for International Organizations, with the added responsibility of UN Development Agencies.
She served as a member of the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre from 2013 to 2015.
She served as ambassador of Canada to Chile and honorary president of the Chile-Canada Chamber of Commerce from 2009 to 2012.
Sarah Fountain Smith graduated from McGill University in 1989 with a BA Honours in Classics. She joined the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1989 and has since served abroad at Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and the embassies of Canada in Argentina and Brazil. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English. She is married to Richard Smith and they have two children.