Office of the General Counsel

Castle door and rose garden

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) protects the legal interests of the Smithsonian Institution. The OGC has 14 attorneys who provide legal advice and counsel to the Board of Regents, Secretary, and other Smithsonian staff on various issues including: the legal nature and administration of the Institution, intellectual property, employment, collections management, contracts, ethics, tax, tort claims, etc.

The OGC represents the Smithsonian in litigation and other adversarial proceedings to which the Institution is a party and before federal, state, and local government entities on administrative matters; issues final determinations on administrative tort and personal property claims against the Smithsonian; and generally monitors developments in the law for application to Smithsonian programs. The Smithsonian Institution is represented in litigation by the Department of Justice and the Offices of the United States Attorney.

OGC Attorneys

  • Judith Leonard, General Counsel
  • Katherine Bartell, Assistant General Counsel
  • Meghan Delaney Berroya, Assistant General Counsel
  • Craig M. Blackwell, Associate General Counsel
  • Laura Damerville, Assistant General Counsel
  • Gregory Dworkowitz, Assistant General Counsel
  • Farleigh Earhart, Associate General Counsel
  • Danielle Fisher, Assistant General Counsel
  • Virginia Gomez, Assistant General Counsel
  • Lauryn H. Guttenplan, Associate General Counsel
  • Mia Haessly, Assistant General Counsel
  • Christine Nicholson, Associate General Counsel
  • Jessica Sanet, Assistant General Counsel
  • Eryn Starun, Assistant General Counsel


Phone: 202.633.5115
Fax: 202.357.4310 


Street Address: 1000 Jefferson Dr. SW, Room 302, MRC 012, Washington, DC 20560
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 37012, MRC 012, Washington, DC 20013-7012