Company: The JBG Smith Companies
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Joseph B. Gildenhorn, Esq., Partner at The JBG Smith Companies, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in law, international affairs and entrepreneurship.
Mr. Gildenhorn has amassed more than six decades of professional experience in the areas of law, international affairs and entrepreneurship. Serving as a partner with The JBG Smith Companies since 1960, he previously held the role of partner with Brown, Gildenhorn & Jacobs in the mid-1950s and was the vice chairman of the DC National Sovran Bank from 1979 to 1989. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, vice president George H.W. Bush invited Mr. Gildenhorn to travel alongside him to Israel. After this trip, Vice President Bush asked him to become the United States ambassador to Switzerland, which he served from 1989 to 1993. Alongside his primary appointments, Mr. Gildenhorn was the vice chairman of the advisory board of the DC metro area of BB&T Bank from 1985 to 2003, president of LBG Properties, Inc., from 1956 to 1988, and adjunct professor at George Washington University.
Throughout his illustrious career, Mr. Gildenhorn has participated in dozens of civic engagements, including as chairman of the board of trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars since 2002, as well as former trustee and chairman of the executive committee of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation from 2008 to 2010. He also served as president of the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington from 1988 to 1989, treasurer and president of the board of directors of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington from 1975 to 1977, and District of Columbia chairman for the George W. Bush for President Campaign in 2000, among other notable endeavors.
To prepare for his career, Mr. Gildenhorn pursued formal education at the University of Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1951. He subsequently received a Doctor of Jurisprudence and Bachelor of Laws from Yale Law School in 1954, where he also served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal. He was also inducted into the Order of the Coif. Since obtaining his law degree, he has been admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, as well as before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Soon thereafter, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving for two years.
As a testament to his professional success, Mr. Gildenhorn has accrued numerous accolades and most recently was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame in Washington, DC, in 2018. Named Philanthropist of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives in 2000 and Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine in 1996, he received the Corporate Citizenship Award from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2000 and the Leadership Award from the Washington Institute in 1999. Likewise, he was the recipient of the University of Maryland Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs Leadership Award in 1993, the Ottenstein Community Service Award in 1991, and the Ourisman Community Service Award in 1987. Earlier in his career, he was presented with the B’nai B’rith Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Humanitarian Award in 1983 and 1985, respectively, having previously been honored with the David Ben Gurion Award from the State of Israel in 1977.
Married to Alma Lee Gross with two children and three grandchildren, Mr. Gildenhorn considers the highlight of his career to have been building the Four Season Hotel and the Department of Transportation building. Looking toward the future, he intends to continue serving his community and providing exceptional services with the JBG Smith Companies.
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