Interim Commissioner | Deputy Commissioner, Enforcement | Deputy Commissioner, Regional Affairs & Federal Programs | General Counsel


Interim Commissioner

Johnathan J. Smith joined Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration in January 2019 and served as Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights and Workforce. In this capacity, he served as the principal advisor and policy maker to the Governor on civil rights and workforce matters. Starting in May 2020, Johnathan has served as the Interim Commissioner for the New York State Division of Human Rights.

Previously, Johnathan served in the Obama Administration as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also worked as the legal director at Muslim Advocates, a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and a litigation associate at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Johnathan started his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Carl E. Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Johnathan has also served as a lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School. Johnathan is a graduate from Harvard College, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and NYU School of Law.