Judith E. Leonard
Judith E. Leonard is general counsel of the Smithsonian Institution. Leonard reports to Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough and serves as the principal legal advisor to the Secretary; the Board of Regents, the Smithsonian’s governing body; and other officials on legal matters. The Smithsonian’s general counsel directs and coordinates all legal matters and prepares legal opinions relevant to the operations of the Institution; coordinates Smithsonian litigation with the Department of Justice and represents the Institution in administrative proceedings; and manages the activities of the office, which consists of 17 lawyers and support staff, as well as outside counsel.
As the vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at The University of Arizona, Leonard served as principal legal advisor, directed and coordinated all legal matters, advised on policy and compliance, served as a member of the university president’s cabinet and the president’s advisory group and supervised nine lawyers and eight support staff. She also spent 10 years in Washington, D.C., at posts in the U.S. Department of Education and in the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President.
In addition to serving as the vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at The University of Arizona, Leonard also was an adjunct associate professor in the College of Education.
Leonard served as staff attorney at the U.S. Department of Education from 1991 to1997 and 1980 to 1983. She provided legal advice and representation in connection with the administration of federal education programs and business and management activities of the department, including the review of proposed legislation, development of policy and litigation positions and participation in administrative and civil litigation and assistance with regulation and enforcement.
She also served as assistant attorney general in the office of the Arizona Attorney General (1990-1991) and as associate university counsel at The University of North Carolina (1983-1990).
Leonard is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Arizona and North Carolina State Bars, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the American Bar Association and the Executive Leadership Group for Legal Counsel of the Association of Academic Health Centers.
Leonard earned her juris doctor degree (1980) and master’s degree in education (1974) from The University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree (1972) from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
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