Charlene Smith

Award-winning journalist, author and editor. Authorized biographer of Nelson Mandela

Charlene Smith is a multi-award winning journalist, documentary film-maker and broadcaster. Author of 14 books and authorized biographer of Nelson Mandela she is a sought-after public speaker.
Charlene is a management consultant to companies and international organizations especially those in financial services, health, information technology, lifestyle and education.
Passionate about writing, Charlene is a gifted writing teacher and coach who runs workshops in Boston and across the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa. Contact her through this website.

An Award. Writing and Speaking Engagements 2015. Go to the Events Page for info about Writing Services & Writing Courses

It was at Goddard that I was encouraged to pursue my passion for photography
I am honored to reveal that I have been awarded Goddard College's Alumni Arts Award for 2015 to assist me with the research and writing of my book about sexual violence called, Never a Victim.
I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts: Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, Vermont in 2014. It was here that I met some of the most creatively gifted and emotionally generous people I have ever encountered

2015: Look out for articles by me in Independent Newspapers on controversy around Trevor Noah's appointment to "The Daily Show;" Connect, the journal of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on Animal Human Conflict, then Volume 19 of The Art of Eating on "How to Catch a Chicken;" Brain World published my articles on, "Traumatic Brain Injury," "The Brain and Love" and "The Healing Impact of Music." Look out for blogs by me on the American University website on "The Happiness Index" and an assesment of "The C.I.A. Torture Report" released by Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Associated Press quoted me after the death of editor Ken Owen and I was interviewed on Otherwise, SAfm. Fred Mandell of The Global Institute for Art and Leadership interviewed me about leadership. Journalism student from Northeastern in Boston and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil interviewed me for class projects.

Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life by Charlene Smith (Random House)
Nelson Mandela's lessons about co-operation, reconciliation, and team-building can be applied in daily life.

Me with a bear on Lightning Mountain, New Hampshire, March 2013. Research for a series of articles on bears.
Don't Feed the Bears (see link below) was in The Boston Globe Magazine, June 23 2013. It begins:

"Humans are strange animals. They leave out delectable birdseed, chattering free-range chickens, and aromatic garbage, but shoot when bears, encouraged by this plenty, wander closer... 'We underestimate the ability of wild animals and humans to get along,' says New Hampshire environmentalist David L. Eastman. 'But getting along also requires humans to behave.'"

Charlene Smith at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. November 26 with fans of Nelson Mandela
On November 26, Charlene Smith was invited to speak on the Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Some 350 guests arrived, and a book-signing took place afterward.

Interviewing Nelson Mandela on the third day of his release, and first day back in Soweto
A referee once wrote, “Charlene Smith is a powerful, highly skilled and experienced journalist, author and communications professional. She is adept at finding the right channels for messages. She has immense patience and love for people – no-one is unimportant or undeserving of her time or mentoring.”

As a journalist, an authorized biographer of Nelson Mandela, as well as a speech writer and ghostwriter, I have been privileged to witness the best in the great and had the time to ponder their flaws. I believe that it is in addressing failure, that the exceptional emerges.

Writing is a privileged profession: people allow us into their lives, they reveal their hearts bit-by-bit, they let us scratch through their records, go where they fear, and in the process, they too, rediscover themselves.

Current affairs writers are witnesses to history and so our responsibility to truth-telling and fairness is eternal.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, I covered anti-apartheid resistance in South Africa as a journalist before resigning to become an activist against apartheid. I also worked in Japan and Argentina. Publications I have worked for include the Los Angeles Times, Independent, Guardian, Washington Post, Le Monde, and others. As a television documentary maker I worked with Tony Burman at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Ted Koppel at ABC Nightline, and Ed Bradley at CBS 60 Minutes, and others. That work taught me the importance of visual cues.

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How and why Cheaters brains operate differently, Winter 2013 edition of BrainWorld

e.g. Fiction, History, Magazine Articles, etc. goes here
Whispers On My Skin: A Trauma Survivor's Guide to Relearning Intimate Touch, (Sunset Press, Boston, 2012) available from
Charlene Smith is frequently interviewed by the media or invited to address groups