Isabel Rivera Smith assumed the duties as the Director of Joint Staff for the New York National Guard on January 21, 2021, after most recently serving as the Director of Joint Operations for the New York National Guard.
In her position she will be responsible for coordinating operations and activities involving both the New York Army and Air National Guard, as well as the New York Naval Militia and New York Guard. She will be responsible for organizing the responses to weather emergencies as well as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith was replaced in the Joint Operations position by Air National Guard Lt. Col. Eric Underhill.
Smith first enlisted into the active Army in October of 1985 as a Motor Transport Operator. Her first duty station was Fort Bragg, North Carolina, assigned to Charlie Battery, 368 Air Defense Artillery (HAWK) Battalion.
In 1988, she enlisted in the North Carolina Army National Guard; and in 1989, she transferred to the New York Army National Guard.
In 1995, Smith was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps after graduating from Officer Candidate School.
Smith’s command assignments and operational deployment include Commander of HHD, 53d Troop Command, Commander of the 369th Special Troops Battalion (STB), and Deputy Team Chief-Iraq Police National Headquarters in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2010.
Smith’s key staff assignments include Assistant Operations Officer at the 27th Rear Area Operations Center; personalist for the 369th Corps Support Battalion, Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel, G1 for the 53d Troop Command, Executive Officer of the 106th Regional Training Institute (RTI), Deputy Director of Logistics (J4) for the New York National Guard, Executive Officer for the Office of the Adjutant General, and Chief of Staff for the 53d Troop Command.
Smith’s military education include the Primary Leadership Development Course; the Basic NCO Course; the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course; the Combined Logistics Captain’s Career Course; the Command and General Staff Officers' Courses - Common Core Course and the Advanced Operations Course; the U.S. Army War College; the Joint Task Force Commander Training Course; and the National Security Management Course at the University of Syracuse.
Her awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. Smith is also the recipient of the 2017 Latina Style Military Service Award.
Smith was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio where she graduated from Admiral King High School.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Mount St. Mary’s College, a Master’s degree in Education in Counseling and Development from Long Island University, and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.
Smith and her husband Peter have six daughters: Antoinette, Amelia, Karissa, Kassandra, Jessica, and Shannon as well as one son: Jamarr. They also have nine grandchildren.