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Judy  Smith

Judy Smith

Crisis Management Expert, Author & Inspiration for Scandal


When a news story breaks and an individual or corporation becomes enmeshed in a scandal, Judy Smith is routinely consulted to help mitigate crises and manage the news. Using her keen insight to examine all of the facts, she develops an action plan that time and again alleviates the pressure on her high-profile clients. Read More >

As the founder and president of Smith & Company — a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. — Smith uniquely combines her communication skills, media savvy, and legal and political acumen to serve clients around the world. She is also the real-life inspiration behind the hit TV Show Scandal.

Smith honed her skills managing some of the most historic and sensational events of our time, including the Iran Contra investigation, the prosecution of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, the 1991 Gulf War, the Los Angeles riots, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas, President Clinton's scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, the congressional inquiry of Enron, the United Nations' and World Health Organization's responses to the SARS epidemic, and most recently the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. She is the author of Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities Into Your Biggest Assets and she frequently appears on major television networks such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, ABC, NBC and CBS to offer commentary on topical issues of the day.

Internationally, she has provided counsel to heads of state and executives of major corporations in the Philippines, Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands, Jamaica, and Saudi Arabia, where she assisted the Kingdom's leadership with its communication strategy during the War on Terror.

On the home front she has advised Fortune 500 companies including Wal-Mart, BellSouth, Union Pacific, Starwood Hotels and United Healthcare and consulted with individuals such as Paula Deen, Monica Lewinsky, Idaho senator Larry Craig, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., actor Wesley Snipes, and NFL quarterback Michael Vick. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

How to Protect Your Company's Brand: Getting Ahead of a Crisis

Crisis in the Age of Social Media

Advice from 'Good Self, Bad Self'

There Is No Timetable For Success

The Situation Room: Lance Armstrong's Doping Scandal

Speech Topics

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 of 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? Read More >

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. Read Less ^

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. Read More >

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. Read Less ^

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.