Anne Arundel County Government Welcomes New Equal Opportunity and Human Relations Officer

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the hiring of Asha Smith as Anne Arundel County’s new Equal Opportunity and Human Relations Officer. 

“Asha Smith brings a wealth of equal employment knowledge and leadership to our team, including her key role in our school system’s response to the pandemic,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “I want to thank Joelle Ridgeway and Kelly Lovett for serving in this role in an acting capacity.”

Asha Smith is an attorney and human resources professional, with a wealth of compliance experience in federal, state, and local equal employment opportunity and disability laws. Her experience includes developing and implementing policy, investigating and resolving internal complaints, facilitating staff training, and providing advice to senior personnel. 

Most recently, Ms. Smith was the Senior Manager of EEO and ADA Compliance at Anne Arundel County Public Schools, where she managed discrimination and harassment concerns, reasonable accommodations, and medical leaves such as FMLA, for more than 10,000 employees. She led the school system’s COVID-related leave and accommodation efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Anne Arundel County's history is so special - it was envisaged as a place where its early settlers would escape religious persecution,” Equal Opportunity and Human Relations Officer Asha Smith said. “I am incredibly honored by the opportunity to contribute to this history, and the enduring vision of the county as "the best place for all."”

Ms. Smith started her legal career as a Staff Attorney in the law enforcement bureau of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She investigated and resolved alleged violations of the city’s anti-discrimination statute in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Smith worked in the advertising industry as a media planner for a small communications firm, and a fundraiser for The Advertising Council (the nation’s leading producer of public service advertisements). 

Ms. Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cornell University. She received her law degree from New York University School of Law. She is a proud native New Yorker, and resides in the Annapolis area. Her first day was Monday, July 19.