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July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Contact: Andrea Davey, 301-952-4314, 240-460-6325
             TTY:  301-952-4366 

Receives Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award

Upper Marlboro, MD-Chairwoman Elizabeth Hewlett Elizabeth M. Hewlett, Chairman of the Prince George’s County Planning Board and The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), has been honored by the National Bar Association (NBA) with the prestigious Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented at an evening reception on July 29, 2014, at the NBA’s National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

          The National Bar Association, founded in 1925, is the oldest and largest national network of African-American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students and has almost 50,000 members and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States. The NBA Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award is given to “a person whose life has advanced NBA’s mission to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary, and uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession and who has selflessly led the way for achievement while identifying opportunities for others.”

          An accomplished legal professional, Ms. Hewlett is currently serving her second tenure as M-NCPPC Chairman, having been appointed to the position in 2011 by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III. Ms. Hewlett is distinguished to be the first African American and the first woman to chair the Planning Board, the first African American to chair the Commission, and among the longest-serving chairs of this powerful independent agency of the State of Maryland—providing community planning services, regulating real estate development, and affording first class park and recreation programs for 1.8 million residents of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties who share Maryland’s political boundary and border our Nation’s Capital.

          “This is a tremendous honor from a very prestigious and significant organization. The National Bar Association has been on the front-line of supporting African American lawyers and judges for almost 90 years and has led the fight for social justice and change in this country,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III. “Betty Hewlett has been a champion for justice and has worked tirelessly to improve the NBA and Prince George’s County. Her reach and impact is a reflection of her beautiful spirit and love for humanity. This recognition and honor epitomizes Betty’s extraordinary drive to go above and beyond the call of duty. Prince George’s County takes great pride in calling her one of our residents, and we will join her in celebrating this wonderful achievement.”

A former principal in the law firm of Shipley, Horne and Hewlett, P.A., Ms. Hewlett has an extensive legal background in both the public and private sectors, including serving as Associate General Counsel to M-NCPPC, Staff Counsel to the Legal Aid Bureau, an attorney in private practice, and a member of the Prince George’s County Attorney’s Office and the Prince George’s County Council legislative staff.  Recognized as one of the Region’s “100 Most Powerful Women” by the Washingtonian Magazine and the “Top 100 Women in Maryland” by The Daily Record, she has chaired and continues to serve on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Metropolitan Development Policy Committee and also served on the regional Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority where she completed a four-year tenure including a term as Chairman of the Authority.

          Ms. Hewlett has been relentless in her efforts to advance many legal and civic causes and has been a generous contributor to several legal organizations and professional associations including the National Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Prince George’s County Bar Association, the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Maryland, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, and the American Planning Association. She is a Life Member of the NAACP and is a proud member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service sorority.

Ms. Hewlett’s exemplary community service, dedication to mentoring young legal professionals, and remarkable professional achievements have been widely recognized throughout the region by numerous legal, civic, and professional associations. Most recently, the Maryland Bar Foundation, of which she is a Lifetime Fellow, recognized her with the prestigious 2014 “J. Joseph Curran Award for Public Service.”

Ms. Hewlett received her B.A. degree from Tufts University in Massachusetts and her J.D. degree from Boston College Law School. She also completed the post-graduate program for senior executives in state and local government offered by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is currently admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals for the Federal and Fourth Circuits, United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Court of Appeals of Maryland, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia. 

About the Prince George’s County Planning Department
The Prince George’s County Planning Department of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is responsible for preserving, protecting, and managing the county’s resources through high-quality planning services and growth management guidance. Visit our web site,, to learn how you can become engaged in shaping the future of your community.

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