Judy Smith

Crisis Management Expert
Judy Smith
  • Inspiration for the character Olivia Pope on ABC’s hit show, Scandal
  • President of a leading crisis communications firm with experience consulting for high profile clients such as Monica Lewinski
  • Frequent appearances on major television networks such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC
  • Advises corporate boards and professional groups on navigating crises

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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. 

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Speaker Video

Judy Smith Speaks to the Bush Center

  • Crisis 101: Surviving and Thriving in an Era of Perpetual Crisis
  • How to Protect Your Company’s Brand-Preventing, Preparing, and Prevailing During a Crisis
  • Social Media Revolution or Evolution-Crisis Communication and Public Relations in the Digital Age
  • Leading Through Crisis: What Every Leader Should Know
  • Anatomy of a Crisis: Turning Crisis into Opportunity
  • Women in Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities in a Position of Power
  • Preparing for Leadership: How to Handle any Crisis that Comes Your Way
  • Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom: Managing the Court of Public Opinion
  • Washington: An Insider's View
  • It's a Marathon not a Sprint

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