Contact: LaToya Foster (EOM) – (202) 727-5011; [email protected]
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser named Dr. Jenifer Smith to lead Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS). This appointment follows a national search for a DFS Director with extensive experience in the forensic science field and public safety. Smith is a nationally recognized leader in forensic science, with experience working at the highest levels of the federal government.
“Dr. Smith’s background combines strong scientific knowledge of forensics, a background in law enforcement, and experience as an expert witness on forensic findings,” said Mayor Bowser. “She is familiar with DFS’s challenges, and she has a vision for making it a strong, independent forensics lab that is valued by our partners and key stakeholders.”
Dr. Jenifer Smith is a retired 23-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), having served as Special Agent. At the FBI, Dr. Smith oversaw DNA analysis at the FBI laboratory, where she implemented numerous methods and testified in hundreds of cases. Dr. Smith was a member of the US Government Senior Executive Service and supervised the Weapons of Mass Destruction Intelligence Analysis Section of the FBI. From 2002-2006, Dr. Smith led the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Biological Technology Center, and from 1995-2002 she served as the Unit Chief of the DNA Analysis Unit at the FBI Laboratory. Dr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Penn State University, and a PhD in Physiological Chemistry.
Dr. Smith will succeed Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Roger Mitchell Jr. who has also served as Interim Director of DFS since April.
“I want to thank Dr. Mitchell for his thoughtful stewardship of the lab during this time of transition,” continued Mayor Bowser.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Smith worked with DFS in a consulting capacity to address the findings of the Independent Audit of the Forensic Biology Unit. As a result of the reforms implemented by Dr. Smith, the Assessors from the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accepted all of DFS’s corrective action responses during their follow up assessment in June 2015.
“I share the Mayor’s commitment to top-notch science that works for law enforcement, our criminal justice system and more importantly, the residents of the District of Columbia,” said Dr. Smith. “We have a world-class facility and a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to delivering on that commitment.”
“I applaud Mayor Muriel Bowser for her selection of Dr. Jenifer Smith to lead the DFS,” said Joseph Bono, a member of DFS’ Forensic Science Board (FSB). “Dr. Smith is a true leader who is committed to working with stakeholders and staff to better sever the District.”
Moving forward, DFS will complete all internal actions in response to the Independent Audit, and in November 2015 will invite the Independent Assessment Team for an assessment to lift self-suspension of FBU DNA analysis and return to full operations by the beginning of 2016.