Women in Law 2023


MARY SMITH PRESIDENT American Bar Association

M ary Smith is President of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is the first Native American woman in this role. Mary is an independent board member and former CEO of a $6 billion national healthcare organization, the Indian Health Service. Mary currently serves on the board of PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTCT), a global biopharmaceutical company and on the board of HAI Group, a leading member-owned insurance company for the affordable housing industry. Mary is also Vice Chair of the VENG Group, a national firm. She has served at the highest levels of government, both at the federal and state level. Mary served on the senior team of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice and was General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Insurance. Earlier in her career, Mary served in the White House as Associate Counsel to the President and Associate Director of Policy Planning. In her private sector experience, she served in a senior role at Tyco International (US) Inc., a $40 billion public company, where she managed a $60 million budget. Mary also served as Special Counsel & Estate Trust Officer at the Office of Special Deputy Receiver; and an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Washington, D.C. where she specialized in governmental investigations and securities class actions. Mary has also served in leadership roles in state and local bars. Mary is a past president of the National Native American Bar Association. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Chicago

Bar Association. In her civic activities, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of Chicago, the International Women’s Forum, C200, The Chicago Network, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mary founded and serves as President and Chair of a foundation named after her mother and grandmother, respectively, the Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation, to train Native American girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) (www.carolineorasmithfoundation.org). Mary is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. In 2023, Chicago United selected her as a Business Leader of Color. She also was selected as a 2023 Director to Watch by Directors & Board magazine. In 2022, she received the Abner J. Mikva Award from the American Constitution Society (ACS) Chicago Lawyer Chapter. She was also selected to Crain’s Chicago Business’ Notable Women in STEM in 2020 and 2023 and Crain’s Custom Media’s “Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers” in 2018. At the conclusion of her time in the White House in 2001, she received the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director’s Citation for Exemplary Public Service. Mary graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law, cum laude and received a B.S. in mathematics and computer science, magna cum laude , from Loyola University of Chicago. Mary served on the Law Review and clerked for the Hon. R. Lanier Anderson III in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.



Powered by