American Bar Association Elects B&D Principal John Cruden to Board of Governors

The American Bar Association (ABA)’s House of Delegates announced at its annual meeting on August 4 that it elected Beveridge & Diamond Principal John C. Cruden (Washington, DC) to serve on its Board of Governors. In this role, John will represent District 4—covering the District of Columbia and Virginia—and be the liaison to the ABA’s Center for Human Rights and Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division. This comes at a pivotal time for the organization as it calls upon all lawyers to fully support the rule of law as the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and racism in the justice system.

John is a long-time member of and contributor to the ABA, having served in various leadership positions in the organization, including as former Chair of ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Prior to joining B&D, John had a long and distinguished career in public service, most recently serving as Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He was also the first government attorney to serve as the President of the District of Columbia Bar, currently the largest bar in the nation.

As a liaison to the Center for Human Rights, John will work to mobilize lawyers in support of the Center’s mission to promote and protect human rights worldwide, including protecting advocates and vulnerable communities. He also will coordinate with the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division to serve the unique needs of public sector attorneys.

“In both public service and private practice John has advocated for legal equity and justice. He is an outstanding choice for the Board of Governors, and his service in this capacity comes at an inflection point in our nation on the critical issues related to inclusion and equality. As the country’s most esteemed group of lawyers, ABA and its Board of Governors are uniquely positioned to advance these issues, and I cannot think of a better choice to advocate for the rule of law, equity, and diversity throughout the legal community than John,” B&D Chairman Ben Wilson said.

“John’s election underscores the Bar’s recognition of the valuable contributions he has made to the practice of law, as well as the education of lawyers, throughout his distinguished career. The ABA is fortunate to have one of the country’s foremost experts in public sector law acting as a liaison to its Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, drawing on John’s many years at DOJ, where he supervised some of the department’s most significant litigation,” said Kathy Szmuszkovicz, B&D Managing Principal.

ABA’s Board of Governors works collaboratively with its members to advocate for the legal profession and advance the rule of law. The Board consists of 43 members including 19 district representatives, 18 members-at-large, and six officers who serve as ex officio. John’s term will run from 2020-2023.

“I am honored to have been elected to the Board of Governors, representing the District of Columbia and Virginia. The ABA remains one of the largest professional organizations in the world with a unique mission—defending liberty and delivering justice. Today, in our difficult times together, we should all join to promote ABA's goals of eliminating bias and enhancing diversity as well as advancing the rule of law,” John said.