Kurt L. Schmoke
Board Vice chair
Vice President and General Counsel
Kurt L. Schmoke was appointed Vice President and General Counsel of Howard University in July, 2012. Mr. Schmoke earned his undergraduate degree in history from Yale University. While at Yale he co-founded a child care center that has been in continuous operation as the Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kindergarten since 1970. He pursued graduate studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Mr. Schmoke served as the mayor of Baltimore City for 12 years from 1987 to 1999, and was the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City from 1982 to 1987.
During his tenure as mayor, Mr. Schmoke initiated a number of programs in the areas of housing, education, public health and economic development. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush awarded him the National Literacy Award for his efforts to promote adult literacy, and in 1994 President Bill Clinton praised his programs to improve public housing and enhance community economic development. The Clinton Administration named Baltimore one of six cities to receive Empowerment Zone designation in 1994.
Mr. Schmoke’s other public service includes his appointment as Assistant Director, White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Jimmy Carter, and service as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.
After completing three terms as Mayor of Baltimore, Mr. Schmoke returned to the practice of law. He was a partner in the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering. He became actively involved in the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association, serving a term as Chair of the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice of the ABA. He has provided countless hours of pro bono legal services to charitable organizations, such as the Children’s Health Forum, a non-profit group established to combat lead poising among our nations youth. Mr. Schmoke was appointed Dean of Howard University School of Law in January, 2003 and served in that capacity until July, 2012. During his tenure as Dean of Howard Law School, Mr. Schmoke focused much of his attention on increasing bar passage rates, and expanding the clinical law program to emphasize matters of environmental justice, fair housing and civil rights.
Mr. Schmoke is married to Dr. Patricia Schmoke, an ophthalmologist. They have two adult children, Gregory and Katherine.