George Smith was until December 2008 a University Reader in Social Policy and Research Fellow at Green College, Oxford. He was Head of Department from 2005-2007 and previously the Department's research coordinator and course director for the Comparative Social Policy graduate degrees. He co-directed the Social Disadvantage Research Centre with Professor Michael Noble from its foundation in the 1990s to 2005.
His fields of interest include urban disadvantage, social security, poverty/low income and education, and the measurement of deprivation at the local level. He worked on the Educational Priority Areas Project and the Community Development Projects in the 1970s; was co-ordinator of OECD projects on educational disadvantage in the US and disadvantaged youth in urban areas. Until April 1996 he was adviser/research consultant to the British Government's Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), London and before that to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools (HMI) over a fifteen year period. He is a Research Associate of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) London. Recently he has undertaken research in India and Bangladesh on the use of new sources of microdata to assess poverty and deprivation at the local level.