ARLINGTON, VA – The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) inaugurated a dynamic new leader on Monday, July 10, as they elected J. Charles (Charlie) Smith III, current State’s Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland, as their next president. Smith was sworn in at NDAA’s annual summer summit in Nashville, Tennessee. With a professional legacy marked by an unwavering commitment to justice, community service, and innovation, Smith’s inauguration promises a forward-thinking and inclusive approach to the role.

Smith, widely admired for his nuanced perspective on prosecutorial integrity and commitment to responsive criminal justice, intends to focus his presidency on championing what he likes to call “proactive prosecution”. This means promoting and advancing our nation’s prosecutors as leaders in the courtroom and in the community through strategic collaboration and engagement with justice partners and citizens alike. He feels strongly that a prosecutor’s importance to public trust and criminal justice cannot be understated. Equally important to Smith is continuing NDAA’s focus on advancing policies and trial advocacy programs to assist and support our country’s prosecutors.

Moreover, he is committed to boosting prosecutor recruitment and retention through innovative strategies, aiming to address the challenges currently faced by prosecutor’s offices nationwide.

Outgoing president John F. Flynn praised Smith, saying, “Charlie’s vast experience and his proven commitment to justice make him a standout choice for leading the NDAA. He has been an unwavering advocate for his community, and we are confident that under his leadership, he will continue to elevate the voice of our nation’s prosecutors.”

Hailing from Baltimore City, Maryland, Smith is a distinguished graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He commenced his career in the legal field as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Baltimore City, Maryland. After a few years in private practice, Smith resumed his career as a prosecutor in Frederick County, Maryland in 1998 where he went on to serve as Chief of the Child Abuse/Sex Offense Division, Deputy State’s Attorney (First Assistant), and finally as the elected State’s Attorney for Frederick County, a role he has held since January 2007.

Outside his professional commitments, Smith’s deep-rooted connection with his community is apparent in his extensive Board involvement with local organizations, such as the Frederick Rescue Mission Inc., Child Advocacy Center, Frederick Health Hospice and Faith House. Smith shares his life with his wife,

Desiree a retired Special Agent with the FBI, and their four children. His dedication to family and community shines as brightly as his professional achievements, making him an exemplary leader for the NDAA.

In addition to the election of Smith, several other individuals were elected as new or returning members of the NDAA Board of Directors:

  • Ivan Bates, State’s Attorney, Baltimore City, MD
  • Mark Dupree, District Attorney, Wyandotte County, KS
  • Rich Gibson, State’s Attorney, Howard County, MD
  • Spencer Merriweather, District Attorney, Mecklenburg County, NC
  • Michael Ferrarese, District Attorney, Chenango County, NY

About the National District Attorneys Association:

Formed in 1950, NDAA is the oldest and largest national organization representing state and local prosecutors in the country. With more than 5,500 members representing over two-thirds of the state and local prosecutors’ offices, NDAA is recognized as the leading source of national expertise on the prosecution function and is a valuable resource for the media, academia, government, and community leaders. NDAA’s mission is to provide state and local prosecutors with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to ensure that justice is done and that public safety rights are protected.