Staff Biographies

James Douglas

Director, Office of Human Resources

August 1, 2016

James D. Douglas is the Smithsonian’s director of Human Resources, a position he has held since 2004. In this position, Douglas supervises a staff of human resource specialists and support personnel in effectively implementing a comprehensive human capital program involving four separate employment systems for more than 6,000 employees in the Smithsonian Institution (federal civil service, Smithsonian trust fund employment system, Smithsonian Enterprises employment system and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute employment system).

From 1995 to 2004, Douglas was deputy general counsel for the Institution where he advised Smithsonian management on a variety of legal issues, particularly in the area of employment and labor relations, successfully representing the Institution in litigation before the courts and administrative bodies. He also advised Smithsonian management on the legal nature of the Institution and its relations with the government, tort claims, the Freedom of Information Act and privacy, contracts, real and personal property, gifts, intellectual property and appropriations law issues.

Douglas was assistant general counsel at the Smithsonian from 1985 to 1995 and acting general counsel from April through November 1995. Before moving to the General Counsel’s office, he was the director of Labor and Employee Relations for the Institution from 1977 to 1985. Douglas was a labor relations specialist and management analyst with the Community Services Administration from 1972 to 1977.

Douglas received his Juris Doctor degree from George Mason University School of Law, his master’s degree in public administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany and his bachelor’s degree in political science from the College at Fredonia at the State University of New York. He is a member of the bar of Virginia and federal courts.

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James Douglas, Director, Office of Human Resources

James D. Douglas is the Smithsonian’s director of Human Resources, a position he has held since 2004.