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Ralph Smith Expands Global Innovation Alliance in Europe and Receives Distinguished Friend of Oxford Award
August 10, 2015

Andrew Hamilton, Vice Chancellor Oxford University, (L) and Ralph H. Smith II (R). Photo courtesy of John Cairns.

BIRMINGHAM, August 10, 2015— Ralph H. Smith II, President and CEO of the Ralph Smith Group LLC, and special counsel at Jones Walker LLP, has expanded the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) following meetings this summer at the University of Florence in Italy and at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The GIA, which Mr. Smith co-founded in 2012, is a consortium of government, business, and academic institutions organized to promote scientific innovation and economic development.

At the conclusion of those meetings, Mr. Smith received the Distinguished Friend of Oxford Award at a ceremony held on June 20, 2015, at Oxford University. He is one of only a small group of Americans to have been so honored by the University of Oxford since the creation of the award in 1997. In addition, Mr. Smith was recognized by the Rhodes Trust at a gala dinner held on June 18 at Rhodes House in Oxford for his service to the Rhodes Scholarships. He has served intermittently on committees responsible for selecting Rhodes Scholars since 1981 and has managed the selection process in the southeastern United States since 2005, in all helping to select over 76 Rhodes Scholars. Mr. Smith also serves as the Administrator of the American Trust for Oxford, which has transferred in excess of $30 million to Oxford University institutions since he became Administrator in 2008. To read Mr. Smith's award citation, and that of the other 2015 recipients, please click here.

About Ralph Smith and the Ralph Smith Group
Ralph Smith, CEO of The Ralph Smith Group and special counsel at Jones Walker LLP, served for almost a decade as General Counsel and a Member of the Chancellor's Senior Policy Staff at The University of Alabama System, where he also taught and advised on international initiatives. A corporate and business transactions lawyer by training, Mr. Smith attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar from 1973-1976 and helped launch in 2012 the Global Innovation Alliance, a consortium of business, government, and academic institutions to promote innovation and economic development. He was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 to the Order of St. John, an Order of Chivalry of the British Crown with historical roots in the 11th century Knights Hospitaller and Knights of Malta. 

The Ralph Smith Group LLC (, provides strategic consulting services to business and higher education worldwide.

About Jones Walker
Jones Walker LLP, with approximately 390 attorneys in Alabama, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Texas, provides a comprehensive range of legal services to a national and international corporate client base.