Jonathan M. Smith was appointed executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on July 1, 2016.
Immediately prior to joining the Committee, Mr. Smith was the Associate Dean of Experiential and Clinical Programs at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
Mr. Smith was the Chief of the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice from 2010 to 2015. The Section was responsible for pattern or practice investigations of civil rights violations by law enforcement, correctional, juvenile justice, and mental health and developmental disability agencies. Under his leadership, the Section conducted the civil investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department following the death of Michael Brown.
Prior to his government services, Mr. Smith was the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and the D.C. Prisoners’ Legal Services Project. In each of these positions, in addition to providing program leadership, he has handled individual, class action and impact litigation, engaged in legislative advocacy and in institutional reform efforts. He started his career as an associate to Virginia civil rights lawyer Victor Glasberg.