Melinda Douglas is the Public Defender for the City of Alexandria. She has held that office since 1987 when she established the first public defender office in Alexandria. Ms. Douglas is an adjunct professor of law at American University’s George Washington College of Law. She is former Chairman of the Board of Governors of Criminal Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. She was named Virginia Leader in the Law by Virginia Lawyers Weekly in 2010 and was awarded the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award by the Virginia State Bar in 2012. She was the 2012 recipient of the Advocate for Justice Award from the David C. Clarke School of Law. Ms. Douglas has served on the faculty of the Professionalism Course offered by the state Bar for new lawyers admitted to practice in Virginia, as well as on a number of task forces convened by the Virginia Supreme Court to study various criminal justice issues. Ms. Douglas also served on the Committee that drafted the Standards of Practice for Counsel Representing Indigent Defendants In Virginia. Over the years, Ms. Douglas has lectured on a variety of criminal law topics at various law schools and at continuing legal education programs sponsored by national and state bar groups and professional associations.