Dana Smiles

Director, International Development (Community Health & Education)

MPH, Columbia University, New York, NY MA, Brown University, Providence, RI BS, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Dana Smiles has worked in the global public health field for ten years with extensive experience designing, implementing, and evaluating multi-level, evidence-based, and scalable programs focused on girls and young women, ethnographic and qualitative research, and capacity building for non-profit organizations and institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. In 2012, Dana moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to conduct participatory research with girls to determine the challenges girls face when transitioning through puberty in parts of Ethiopia and their suggestions for creating more receptive environments.  Her research resulted in the development and publication of “Growth and Changes,” a girls’ puberty guide book approved by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and disseminated throughout the country.   Dana also served as a Project Coordinator at the Population Council in New York, NY where she led capacity strengthening work for organizations building girl-centered programs in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Haiti, and the United States.  Dana is currently working to build effective girl-centered, community-based programming for adolescent girls in Louisiana

We are an ambitious and dynamic team of public health and development practitioners eager to develop new tools, knowledge, ideas, and methods to improve lives across the globe.

The Center for Research & International Development (CenRID)  is a global nonprofit organization based in New York, NY that focuses on development research and project implementation.
Our purpose is to implement evidence-based interventions and conduct high-quality research aimed at discovering new knowledge to improve the education and healthcare delivery and access for vulnerable populations.

Our Mission

Our Vision

To use data driven research to improve healthcare delivery and access, and education for vulnerable populations and communities.
CenRID​​ envisions a world where everyone attains the right to a high quality of life.


Honesty and integrity are the nucleus of our identity. They are the foundation of every successful and impactful intervention we implement. We remain steadfast to doing the right thing for the individuals and communities with which we work, and ensuring that our research methods and program interventions adhere to the highest ethical standards.


We are transparent and we expect to be held accountable by the communities we serve and our donors; it is how we earn their trust.   We will always take responsibility for our actions and address any missteps. We are an ambitious organization and we will learn as we grow.


We conduct a readiness assessment prior to each program or intervention. This implementation approach enables us to develop an intervention strategy that is reflective of the priority needs, concerns, and views of the community, which in turn empowers the community to take ownership of program or intervention


We believe effective teamwork and collaboration maximizes each partner's expertise and capabilities, and thus drives positive results.


We enthusiastically pursue innovative knowledge, ideas, tools, and methods that would catalyze the achievement of our project goals.

respect & cultural sensitivity

Our goal is to modify behaviors, not cultures. We strive to ensure that our program delivery methods are culturally compatible.      

Our dedicated leadership team is made up of experts who are committed to our mission and vision.