Alan Smith is responsible for developing a strategy for the worldwide promotion of European higher education, and of Erasmus Mundus in particular, within the Unit for Tempus and Erasmus Mundus of the European Commission’s Directorate for Education and Culture. After studying in the UK and Germany, he held positions at the German Rectors’ Conference and the European Institute of Education and Social Policy in Paris. In 1980 he moved to Brussels to assist the European Commission in the management of its cooperation scheme in higher education and the development of the new Erasmus programme. He was director of the Erasmus Bureau for the first five years of the programme (1987-92). Alan was the founding director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) in 1993-4, before joining the staff of the European Commission in 1995. During his 11 years of service at the Commission, Alan Smith has been variously coordinator of the Socrates programme, deputy head of the Lifelong Learning Policy unit and, in an interim capacity during most of 2005, head of the unit responsible for Comenius (school education) and Grundtvig (adult education). From 2000 to 2005, he was responsible for managing the Commission’s ‘Grundtvig’ action for general adult education, and for designing the future Grundtvig programme 2007-2013, before taking up his present position in early 2006. Alan Smith is the author of many publications on issues concerning European and international cooperation in education, and has been awarded honorary doctorates by universities in the UK and Belgium for his contribution to this area of work.