Judy Smith is the founder and President of Impact Strategies, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington DC and Los Angeles. Over the last 25 years, Smith has brought to bear her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, legal and political acumen for clients facing a wide array of issues and challenges throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Smith has been put to the test during some of the most historic events of our time, including the Iran Contra investigation, the prosecution of former Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry, the 1991 Gulf War, the Los Angeles riots, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas, Monica Lewinsky during the President Clinton scandal, the congressional inquiry into Enron, and during the United Nations Foundation and the World Health Organization response to the SARS epidemic.
Perhaps best known in media circles for her expertise as a crisis management advisor, over the course of her career Smith has served as a consultant for a host of high profile, celebrity and entertainment clients including Monica Lewinsky, Senator Craig from Idaho, actor Wesley Snipes, the family of Chandra Levy, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, and many other prominent figures.
In addition to her work as a communications advisor during high profile engagements, Ms. Smith also serves as a counselor to some of the nation’s most highly regarded corporations, trade associations, and non-profit organizations. In this capacity she has provided strategic advice on a variety of corporate communications issues including high profile crises, mergers and acquisitions, product recalls, intellectual property litigation, corporate positioning, diversity and other challenges. She has also assisted leading companies such as BellSouth, Union Pacific, Starwood Hotels, Nextel, Federated Department Stores, United Healthcare, Americhoice, Wal-Mart, Radio-One Inc, Waste Management Corporation, and American International Group, Inc. (AIG) on a range of corporate, investor, and public relations matters.
On the domestic front, Smith continues to be involved in many of the public policy issues facing the nation. She has worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development on national public education campaigns to address the housing crisis, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on creating ways to help combat the childhood obesity epidemic. She has also provided communications advice to government entities and municipalities including the United States Election Assistance Commission, the City of Cincinnati, the City of Detroit and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
In the international arena, Smith has also provided counsel to several heads of state and executives of major corporations, including matters in the Philippines, Haiti, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos and Zimbabwe (Save Zimbabwe Campaign). In addition, she assisted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s leadership with its communication efforts as part of the War on Terrorism.
Prior to founding Impact Strategies, Smith joined the White House with her appointment as Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary to President George H. W. Bush in 1991. During her tenure she provided the President and his Cabinet with communications advice on a wide range of foreign and domestic issues. In addition, she managed the Administration’s response to the allegations of sexual harassment made during the Clarence Thomas nomination, the Los Angeles riots and the federal government shutdown. Smith was a partner at several Washington DC-based public relations firms. In 1997 she founded JAS Communications, which represented a number of high profile corporate, sports, entertainment and political clients, most notably Monica Lewinsky and her family during the Clinton impeachment proceedings.
Prior to her legal career, Smith worked as a writer and public affairs specialist for several publications and private organizations headquartered in Washington, DC. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Boston University and graduated from the American University Washington College of Law, where she was the first African-American woman to serve as Executive Editor of the Law Review.
As a result of Smith’s impressive career, Shonda Rhimes, creator of hit television dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” developed “Scandal,” which is based on the world of crisis management inspired by Smith’s career. The series revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer. Smith serves as co- executive producer of the project and provides insight and technical expertise on crisis management.
Smith is the author of “Good Self, Bad Self“, a book on crisis management published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. which was released in March 2012. She has received numerous communications and leadership awards and is active in community service.
~ content courtesy of ABC Medianet
Who Am I? – Judy Smith (courtesy of KerryWashington.com)
“Who Am I?” is an acting tool that Kerry Washington uses during the creative process of developing a character by using this list of questions as a way of discovering new things about the character. Washington has asked fellow actors to answer the same questions as a fun way for us to learn more about them!
For more information on Judy Smith
Official website: JudySmith.com
Official Facebook fan page: Judy Smith
Follow her on twitter: @judysmith_
Check out the ‘Scandal’ blog ‘What Would Judy Do?’ Get a real fixers take on the cases from every episode of ‘Scandal’ from THE REAL OLIVIA POPE!