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‘Scandal’ inspiration speaking at NCCU

September 20
00:00 2013

The real-life Olivia Pope is coming to North Carolina Central University.

Judy SmithJudy Smith, the crisis-management expert who is the inspiration for Kerry Washington’s character on the hit show “Scandal,” will be the inaugural speaker for Central’s 2013-14 Lyceum series.

She will speak on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. in B.N. Duke Auditorium.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
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. She is the founder and President of Smith & Co., a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington and Los Angeles.

Perhaps best known for her expertise as a crisis management advisor, she 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, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., actor Wesley Snipes, NFL quarterback Michael Vick and the family of Chandra Levy.

Smith’s experience was put to the test in some of the most historic and sensational events of the times, including the Iran-Contra scandal, the prosecution of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry, the 1991 Gulf War, the Los Angeles riots, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas, the Clinton scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, the congressional inquiry of Enron, the Gen. David Petraeus CIA scandal, and the United Nations Foundation and World Health Organization response to the SARS epidemic.

In 1991, Smith joined the White House as special assistant and deputy press secretary to President George H. W. Bush. During her tenure, she provided the president and members of his cabinet with communications advice on a wide range of foreign and domestic issues.
Prior to joining the White House, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney and as special counsel to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, where she oversaw legal and communications work on a number of high profile criminal and civil cases.

She has been a partner at several Washington-based public relations firms and served as senior vice-president of corporate communications at NBC and was responsible for the network’s strategic global communications strategy.

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 Smith. The series, “Scandal,” revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer. Smith serves as co-executive producer of the project and provides insight and technical expertise on crisis management issues

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