BARBARA SMITH - Principal & Founder


“Through my work at Mountain Time Development, I pursue my passion for advancing best practices in international development, foreign policy and national security.”

Barbara Smith has over 20 years of experience in international development and is a subject matter expert in democracy, human rights, and governance with significant experience designing and implementing programs in conflict-prone countries. She has had direct and substantial involvement in policy development and strategic planning within the U.S. government, the nongovernmental community, and international organizations.

Ms. Smith has proven leadership and management skills. Notably, she served as a Director at the National Security Council for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the White House, where, in addition to other duties, she served as the White House Representative on a high-level visit to Afghanistan. Additionally, Ms. Smith has held a number of positions with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), including a senior executive service appointment as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning. In her various roles, Ms. Smith represented the US government at international negotiations and in international fora at the senior leadership level, including: the US-Korea-Japan Trilateral, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)-USAID bilateral, and as Head of Delegation to the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (UNDCF). She has also held senior positions with various organizations outside of government, including as Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as Deputy Country Representative and Senior Director for the Asia Foundation. Under these titles Ms. Smith led the elections and political processes team in Afghanistan, was a representative at governance and law related events, and traveled for work with the Asia Foundation to Pakistan, Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, India, and Sri Lanka.

Ms. Smith developed her subject matter expertise in conflict and governance, democracy, and human rights with experience designing and implementing programs in conflict-prone countries. For the UNHCR in Bosnia-Herzegovina she designed programs to address cross border issues and promote confidence building. As Project Manager for the Asia Foundation’s Constitutional Loya Jirga Program, she worked with international and national staff to build capacity and identify potential programmatic areas. She has had direct and substantial involvement in policy development and strategic planning within the US government, the non-governmental community, and international organizations. Ms. Smith helped lead USAID’s regional response to the Arab Spring by overseeing, coordinating, and working with technical and regional staff to develop policy proposals and programmatic responses to events in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria.

In addition to the work she does with Mountain Time Development, Ms. Smith advises for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as a Senior Associate (Non-Resident). She completed both field work and remote interview-based research, producing several recently published studies on closing space for civil society. Ms. Smith is an advisor at the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines. Previously, she served as an Affiliate Faculty member at Regis University in Denver, and a Practitioner-in-Residence/Adjunct Faculty at Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.

Ms. Smith received a B.A. in government from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in political science from Texas State University.

LARRY SAMPLER - Senior Advisor & Consultant


“I have worked in enough conflict and post-conflict settings to begin to see commonalities; similar drivers of conflict and, perhaps more importantly, similar constructive and positive interests that can be the keys to reducing conflict and beginning the arduous but rewarding task of rebuilding.”

Larry Sampler consults in the areas of civ-mil coordination, counter-insurgency, nation- and state-building, and security & operational components of frontier investing in fragile or hostile environments.

Mr. Sampler brings considerable experience in the private sector as well as in multilateral missions of both the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations. Within the US government, Sampler has served as Assistant to the Administrator at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs (OAPA) leading USAID’s efforts for two of the agency’s largest missions. At the State Department, he was the Principal Coordinator in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction & Stabilization (S/CRS), responsible for crafting, presenting, and defending a comprehensive approach for the USG in responding to post-conflict and reconstruction environments. 

Mr. Sampler has substantial experience in conflict and post-conflict settings working for USAID, the US Departments of State and Defense, the Institute for Defense Analyses, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the OSCE mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served for more than a decade in the US Army Special Forces, focusing on many of the same seemingly intractable problems from the perspective of a soldier, before transitioning to the civilian sector. 

Mr. Sampler graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) with a degree in Physics and has a graduate degree in Diplomacy from Norwich University. He also pursued graduate studies with GIT’s Technology and Science Policy Program where he examined the role of technology in quality-of-life improvements for developing nations.

CLAIRE D. SNEED - Senior Advisor & Consultant

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”I am a passionate implementer and strategic thinker working to develop and advance democracy, civilian security, conflict prevention, and transparent, accountable, inclusive governance in a variety of global contexts and institutions.”

Claire Sneed provides technical support in areas of assessment, program design, strategic planning, training and tool development, and evaluation. She works on issues related to governance reform, security, violence mitigation, P/CVE, and holistic approaches to various development challenges.

Ms. Sneed is an international development and foreign policy specialist with 20 years of experience. She worked as a team lead, program manager, technical specialist, trainer, and analyst on topics including human security, local governance, conflict and violent extremism prevention, economic and social inclusion, and women, peace, and security.

For 10 years, Ms. Sneed worked with NGOs and IGOs. With Mercy Corps, she helped developed a humanitarian partnership initiative with North Korea, and worked as a Regional Head of Office in Serbia’s Sandžak region where she led a field team to implement one of the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) first community mobilization programs: Community Revitalization through Democratic Action. As Mercy Corps’ Chief of Party in the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Sneed and her team implemented the USAID integrated conflict mitigation program. She later joined with the OSCE Mission to Skopje (Macedonia) where she led a team to support inclusive local governance programs.

Additionally, Ms. Sneed worked with the Department of State (DOS) for 10 years. As a member of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO), she led conflict assessments, developed methodologies for gender mainstreaming in stability operations, and developed practitioner toolkits and training curricula on conflict and stabilization practice areas. As a US liaison to the UK Stabilisation Unit in London, Ms. Sneed fostered UK-US collaboration in complex operations (such as in Syria), established a seven-country Stabilization Leaders Forum, and led research and the creation of UK stabilization lessons and best practices. As Team Lead for the National Security Council (NSC) Atrocities Prevention Board Secretariat, she represented the DOS’ position on atrocity risk and prevention policy and program recommendations. Later, with the Secretary’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs, Ms. Sneed established a government-NGO working group of experts to develop a training curriculum and handbook for diplomats on religious community engagement in foreign policy. Most recently, as Deputy Director in the DOS’ Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Bureau (DRL) Office of Global Programs, she led seven technical and regional teams.

Ms. Sneed has a BA in international relations and French language from Randolph-Macon College and holds an MA in development economics and international law from Tuft’s Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. She has professional competency in French and basic Russian language skills.

ALEXIS FRISBIE - Research Assistant & Web Manager

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“My interest in languages, cultures, and technology - paired with an enthusiasm for patterns and problem solving - inspire my curiosity and insightful approach to national security and foreign policy.”

Ms. Frisbie assists in a research capacity and manages Mountain Time Development’s website.

Ms. Frisbie has conducted research on a range of transnational issues that impact international and state stability. With regards to WMDs, she monitored and assembled reports on discussions surrounding the Iran nuclear deal as a Security Policy Intern at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. Ms. Frisbie has also researched responses to terrorism, including policy options to counter Boko Haram attacks and public-private partnerships to counter violent extremism (CVE). She later worked at the Center for Human Security and contributed to discussion on Syrian refugee assimilation and integration in the United States. She has explored the impact of violent non-state actors on communities across the world; she assisted with editing and research for a book examining non-state actors as usurpers of state functions.

Ms. Frisbie has lived in Italy, Japan, and Australia. She received a B.A. in international affairs from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and an M.A. in international security from Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. She is partially proficient in Spanish and has conversational skill in Italian, Japanese and ASL.