Steven Smith has been CEO of Action on Armed Violence since January 2012. Prior to this, he served for over 30 years as an officer with the British Army attaining the rank of Colonel. Much of his military career was focussed on countering IEDs – from being a bomb disposal operator on the streets of Belfast in the early 1980s, to commanding the UK’s entire domestic and overseas capability during 2000-2003. His military career took him to over 40 countries, often witnessing armed conflict and unstable situations at first hand (including operational service in the Balkans and Iraq). He was appointed MBE in 1993 for his work in Northern Ireland.