Judy Smith is the founder and president of Smith & Co., a leading crisis management firm in Washington, D.C. and L.A. For more than 25 years she has brought her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, and legal and political acumen to clients facing a wide array of crises. She is best known for her crisis management advice to a host of high profile clients, including Monica Lewinsky, Senator Larry Craig, Wesley Snipes, the family of Chandra Levy, and Michael Vick. This resume helped inspire the ABC prime-time hit drama, Scandal, on which Ms. Smith serves as co-executive producer, providing her insight and technical expertise.
Ms. Smith honed her skills through first-hand experience with some of the most historic and sensational events of our time, including the Iran Contra investigation, the prosecution of former Washington D.C. mayor Marion Barry, the 1991 Gulf War, the L.A. riots, the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the Clinton scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, Enron, and the UN and World Health Organization response to the SARS epidemic.
Ms. Smith was born and raised in Washington D.C. She received a B.S. in Public Relations from Boston University and a law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. As a lawyer, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney and was Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia, where she oversaw work on a number of high profile criminal and civil cases. She served as Associate Counsel and Deputy Director in the Office of the Independent Counsel, Lawrence Walsh, from 1987 to 1989 in connection with the prosecution of Oliver North and others. In 1991 she was appointed Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary to President George H.W. Bush. During her tenure, she provided the President and his cabinet with communications advice on a wide range of foreign and domestic issues. After leaving the White House, she worked for NBC as vice-president, communications.
In addition to her high-profile clients, Ms. Smith advises major companies such as Union Pacific, United Healthcare, Wal-Mart, and AIG, on a variety of public relations issues such as mergers and acquisitions, product recalls, and diversity, and has worked with numerous government entities on issues such as the housing crisis, education, and economic development.
Ms. Smith has been featured in numerous national publications, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and blogs on current events for the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast. As a result of her in-depth experience, Ms. Smith lectures on crisis management to corporate boards, academia, and other professional groups, and is called upon by all of the major networks to comment on the crisis of the day.
In her 2012 book, Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities Into Your Biggest Assets, Smith shares her methods for smoothing over a bad situation while providing the tools to prevent similar incidents from ever happening again.