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Sherrese M. Smith Partner, Corporate Department
Washington, D.C. T 1(202) 551-1965 F 1(202) 551-0465

Sherrese Smith is a partner in the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) and Privacy and Data Security practices at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. She is a highly regarded lawyer with significant private sector and high-level government experience in media, communications, Internet, and digital technology issues as well as privacy and data security issues.

Prior to joining Paul Hastings, Ms. Smith served as Chief Counsel for Chairman Julius Genachowski at the Federal Communications Commission. In this position, she managed the overall policy agenda for the agency and developed the FCC’s positions and key messages for all media, telecommunications, and mobile policy issues and specialized in the areas of media, Internet, video, broadcast, cable, broadband, IP, mobile and wireless spectrum issues, telemarketing issues, and data privacy and security. Her work involved extensive interaction with external stakeholders, including wireless, media, cable, and telecommunications companies, industry groups and trade associations, federal and state agencies, and Congress.

Prior to joining the FCC in 2009, Ms. Smith was Vice President and General Counsel of Washington Post Digital. In this role, she was in charge of all legal and policy matters for this leading digital media and technology company which managed The Washington Post Company’s flagship website,, as well as,,,, and As General Counsel, she oversaw and managed a full range of matters, including various media and Internet issues, content protection and privacy/data issues as well as technology, licensing, and commercial transactions. Further, she represented the Company on all regulatory and government affairs issues, including federal and state cases, consumer class actions, and state attorney general administrative actions. She also supported the corporate and business development teams in strategic transactions including acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures.

Ms. Smith is currently an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University.

Accolades and Recognitions
  • Influential Women in Communications Award, 2012
  • American Bar Association’s “Women to Watch” Award, 2009
  • Named an “Outstanding In-House Counsel” by the District of Columbia’s chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, 2007

Speaking Engagements and Publications
  • A frequent lecturer on media, Internet, data protection and security, and intellectual property issues and a faculty member for the Practicing Law Institute.

Professional and Community Involvement
  • Serves on the board of the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Communications Law
  • Member of the Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Past board member of the Media Law Resource Center Institute
  • Past co-chair of the Copyright Committee of the ABA
  • Admitted to practice in the District of Columbia

  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1996
  • University of South Carolina, B.A. in Business Administration, 1993