Brad Smith, Microsoft Corp.’s general counsel and corporate secretary, was honored yesterday at the White House’s “Champions of Change” event for the success of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an organization that he co-chairs and that provides pro bono representation to unaccompanied children in the U.S. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Mark Childress, senior counselor for the Justice Department’s Access to Justice Initiative, gave Smith and 15 other leaders awards for their exemplary efforts in providing disadvantaged Americans with equal legal services.
KIND lives up to its acronym by providing thousands of children with legal representation in deportation proceedings. Smith co-founded the organization with actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie in 2008. Smith says the concept developed when he set out to expand his original pro bono initiative in Seattle from the local to the national level. He combined his previous efforts with Jolie’s expertise in refugee work to develop a partnership that has made a large impact in a short amount of time.