Cultural Diversity Roster



Judy Smith

America's No. 1 Crisis Management Expert and Inspiration for ABC's Hit Show, "Scandal"

As a result of her wide ranging and ground breaking career, Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC’s hit television dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, developed a television drama about the world of crisis management inspired by Judy Smith. The series entitled, Scandal, revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer. Ms. Smith serves…

Categories :

Full Bio

As a result of her wide ranging and ground breaking career, Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC’s hit television dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, developed a television drama about the world of crisis management inspired by Judy Smith. The series entitled, Scandal, revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer. Ms. Smith serves as Co-Executive Producer of the project and provides insight and technical expertise on crisis management issues.

Judy A. Smith is the founder and President of Smith & Company, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington DC and Los Angeles. Over the last 25 years, Smith has brought her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, legal and political acumen to clients facing a wide array of issues and challenges throughout the United States and abroad.

Judy Smith honed her skills through her experiences with some of the most historic and sensational 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 President Clinton scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, the congressional inquiry of Enron, the General Petraeus CIA scandal, the Sony Corporation hacking crisis, and the United Nations Foundation and World Health Organization response to the SARS epidemic.

Perhaps best known in media circles for her expertise as a crisis management advisor, Smith has served as a consultant for a host of high profile, celebrity and entertainment clients over the course of her career including, but not limited to, Monica Lewinsky, Senator Craig from Idaho, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., actor Wesley Snipes, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, celebrity chef Paula Deen and the family of Chandra Levy.

Judy Smith has been featured in numerous national publications including: the Washington Post, National Journal, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company and writes on current events for the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast. Smith is an experienced and sought-after commentator as a crisis management expert. She frequently appears on major television networks such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, NBC, ABC, and CBS to offer commentary on topical issues of the day. Smith also lectures on crisis management before corporate boards, academic institutions, and other professional groups.

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.

Judy Smith is the author of the book, Good Self, Bad Self, published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. She has received numerous communications and leadership awards and is active in community service.

Check Availability

Check Availability for


How to Protect Your Company’s Brand: Preventing, Preparing & Prevailing During a Crisis
A company’s brand is its most valuable asset; protecting that brand must be a company’s ultimate goal, whether it’s under fire from a cyber-threat, product recall or other crisis. This session will arm the corporate communicator with the best practices and strategies to help ensure that a company’s reputation remains secure.

Social Media: Revolution or Evolution?
When news stories go viral, social media has become a game-changer in the world of corporate communication. This session will offer tips and strategies on how to successfully navigate a crisis and effectively communicate your message in the digital age.

Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom: The Court of Public Opinion
The media landscape has forced the legal community to rethink its often uneasy relationship. This session goes behind the headlines of some of the biggest legal cases of our age to demonstrate that what goes on outside the courtroom is just as important as what goes on inside. Utilizing her unique background as a prosecutor and media expert, Judy provides tips and strategies on what it takes to win in the court of public opinion.

Washington: An Insider’s View
A “state of play” on Congress, politics, and the Presidency, this session has much to offer on current affairs. In this conversation-style interview, Judy provides an up- close-and-personal view on the intricate machinations that make up crisis and politics in America today.

Leading Through Crisis: What Every Leader Should Know
They found out. It’s not working. They won’t listen. It’s all over. Now what? As America’s number-one crisis management expert, Judy is on speed-dial for some of the most high profile celebrities, politicians and corporations in the world. Here she gives a step-by-step plan outlining her sharply honed strategies for turning a crisis into a redefining moment.

Women in Leadership: Challenges & Opportunities in a Position or Power
Being a woman in a leadership position can come with its own unique set of challenges. How do you get ahead while still remaining authentic? How can you be assertive without being perceived as aggressive? How do I balance work and life? How do I ask for a raise? Judy addresses these tough questions and more in a session offering valuable tips on how to overcome challenges and use your position of power as an opportunity to make a difference.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
For many workers, no matter what age, trying to plan a future path to success is an overwhelming task that can easily feel like a crisis. Here Judy explains why you don’t have to have it all figured out overnight, and why taking your sweet time building a career has its own unique benefits. Through personal stories of her path to success, Judy offers valuable advice on the importance of preparation, personal brand management and how to overcome challenges along the way.

Finding Your True Self Through the Work-Life Balance
Grace under fire in the workplace (and outside of it) is the crisis management professional’s stock in trade. Before the hit TV show Scandal became a household name, Judy Smith had been involved in crisis work for over 20 years, learning to balance work, family and a personal life amid some of the most pressing workplace demands in any profession. As a powerhouse public relations executive, she rose to the top of her game by developing her own brand and carving a niche in an in-demand field. Through hard work and determination she found not only success in her endeavors, but something even more valuable — her authentic self. Judy shares the stories that resulted in her powerful ascent, with an emphasis on what drives women in today’s workplace. Serving up career tips and advice from the basics — how to get what you want out of a job, how to get a raise, how to get a promotion — to more complex issues like workplace rivalry, conflict resolution and why women lead differently than men. Judy reveals why she is a leader like no other.


Judy Smith

Judy Smith - Kean Commencement 2015

Watch Judy Smith Speak at Fortune’s MPW Summit - Fortune Most Powerful Women


Please Contact Us For More Information