Until May of 2019, Judge Smith served on the Executive Team of Mayor Catherine Pugh in Baltimore City as her Chief of Strategic Alliances, responsible for coordinating federal, state, municipal, non-profit and Foundation interactions with the City, and overseeing eight Baltimore City departments and agencies.
Prior to his City appointment, Jim served as the Maryland Transportation (MDOT) Secretary under Governor Martin O’Malley beginning in May of 2013. As Transportation Secretary, he oversaw a $4.4 billion annual budget and was responsible for more than 10,000 employees. MDOT has direct supervision over all aspects of State transportation including: the State’s highway, transit and rail networks; motor vehicle administration; Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshal Airport; and the Port of Baltimore. As Transportation Secretary, Jim also served as Chair of the Maryland Transportation Authority, the agency that owns and operates the state’s eight toll facilities.
Prior to serving as State Transportation Secretary, Jim served as “Of Counsel” at Smith, Gildea & Schmidt in Towson, where he returned in January, 2015 until his appointment with Pugh administration in Baltimore. At the law firm Jim consulted on government affairs, land use and development, complex litigation and business matters.
Jim’s other experience includes eight years as Baltimore County Executive (2002-2010) where he oversaw a $2.5 billion budget and 8,000 employees. In this role he focused on land use planning, sustainable community development, renaissance of older neighborhoods and public-private partnerships to encourage economic opportunity, create jobs and improve the quality of life in Baltimore County.
Before his eight years as County Executive, Jim served 16 years as an Associate Judge on the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. On the Circuit Court, Jim handled domestic, negligence, malpractice and serious criminal cases, and all appeals from administrative bodies.
Prior to his judicial service, Jim was a partner in the law firm of Smith, Johns, and Smith (1968-1985) where he was a litigator of negligence, malpractice, workers comp and handled corporate and business matters, wills and estates. He also served for four years as the Deputy Public Defender for Baltimore County (1973-1977) and seven years on the Baltimore County Council (1978-1985), serving twice as Council Chair. While on the County Council, he took a leadership role in developing County land use plans and zoning policies and development regulations.
Judge Smith has served in numerous capacities in State and regional organizations and committees, including the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (Chair 2005 and 2010), the Maryland Association of Counties (President 2008), the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (Chair 2010), the Board of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (2011-present), the Wheeling Jesuit University Board of Trustees (2011-2016), Board of the University of Maryland Medical System (2012-2019), the Board of Visitors of Towson University (2012-present), the Advisory Board of University of Baltimore William Donald Schaefer Center for Public Policy (2019-presently Chair), and the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center (2015-present).
Judge Smith has received numerous awards and recognition including:
- The Daily Record Leadership in Law Award – 2011
- The Good Scout Award – 2009
- The Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, Renaissance Man of the Year – 2008
- The National Association of Counties, County Courthouse Award – 2006
- Greater Baltimore Committee Regional Visionary Award – 2005
- Thomas More Society, Man for All Seasons Award – 1995
- Wheeling Jesuit University Distinguished Alumnus Award – 1987
- Black Renaissance Orchard Street Church Committee Recognition Award – 1982
- Maryland Jaycees, One of the Five Outstanding Young Marylanders – 1973
Judge Smith is married with four children, twelve grandchildren and two great grandchildren.