When the D.C. City Council held confirmation hearings for elections board member Jeannine Smith Clark last year, a wide range of community leaders, from clergy to educators to volunteer fundraisers and civic assocation activists, testified in her behalf.
Her broad-based support reflected her deep community involvement. She has been a Sunday school teacher at the Simpson-Hamline United Methodist Church and membership drive chairman for the Young Women's Christian Association.
She has served as chairman of D.C. United Way and as an advisory board member to Howard University Hospital. She has been a fundraiser for the city's Museum of African Art and Washington Urban League and former national vice president of the Association of Volunteer Bureaus.
She was named the District's 1982 "Mother of the Year, by the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations.
Although one of the three public officials responsible for the city's elections, Clark has repeatedly refused to be interviewed about the elections process.
Clark is the only Republican on the Board. By law both parties have to be represented. A soft-spoken woman with a genteel manner, Clark, 56, was a D.C. delegate to the past two Republican national conventions, was a likely choice. She had worked as a precinct captain and was a candidate for the D.C. school board in 1971. She lost in a run-off to Hilda Mason, now an at-large City Council member.
Appointed in February 1981, Clark is the newest member of the elections board and the only one born and raised in the city.
Clark attended Dunbar High School and Howard University, where she graduated cum laude with degrees in German and English. She also earned a master's degree from Howard in African studies.
Much of her professional career has been as a teacher. She taught German at Dunbar High School and contemporary issues at Sidwell Friends and was an instructor at the University of the District of Columbia's Institute of Gerontology. She was also a project director for the Washington Urban League, where she was director of the league's Leadership Development Project.
Her husband, Charles H. Clark, is an associate professor of surgery at the Howard medical school and a practicing surgeon. Her two children are also physicians.