Profile Summary by Francisco Carriedo
Natasha Dartigue received her law degree from Howard University School of Law in 1995 and worked on the Howard Law Journal. Upon law school graduation, Ms. Dartigue clerked in the Baltimore City Circuit Court for the late Judge Roger W. Brown.
Following her clerkship, she joined the Office of the Public Defender (“OPD”) in Baltimore City, where she served in many capacities during her 26-year tenure. She began her career as trial attorney in the juvenile, district and circuit court divisions. Over time, she was elevated to serve as a felony trial supervisor, Deputy District Public Defender for Baltimore City, and Acting District Public Defender.
In May 2022, Ms. Dartigue made history when she was appointed to serve as the Maryland State Public Defender, becoming the first person of color to lead the office. Ms. Dartigue, who is the daughter of Haitian immigrants, has highlighted the importance of her historic appointment, noting that it “redefines what leadership looks like and expands the possibilities for Black and brown children.” She adds that it “especially provides hope to children of immigrants, who are often overlooked and undervalued, that opportunities do exist.” Ms. Dartigue began serving her six-year term on July 1, 2022.
At work and in the community, much of Ms. Dartigue’s energy is devoted to providing individuals with the tools to be successful. She is a community advocate, active member leader of various professional organizations including the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), Bar Association for Baltimore City, Monumental City Bar Association, Alliance of Black Women Attorneys, the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, the Women’s Bar Association, and Innovation Works. Additionally, she is a social equity strategist who creates workshops to promote shared understanding and greater awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion issues. She provides implicit bias trainings and leadership development instruction at local, state, and national conferences.
For her significant accomplishments, outstanding leadership and dedicated public service, Ms. Dartigue has received various awards and acknowledgements from the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, National Association of Public Defenders and the Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks. Ms. Dartigue was also recognized as Government lawyer of the Year by the Bar Association of Baltimore City.
In 2018, the Maryland Daily Record bestowed Ms. Dartigue the Leadership in Law Award. She was also named one of the Daily Record’s 2018 Top 100 Women. In 2022, Ms. Dartigue was again recognized for her significant contributions in the field of law by The Daily Record, and selected as a 2022 Influential Marylander honoree. She continues to be a trailblazer and the Baltimore Sun acknowledged her as one of “25 Black Marylanders to Watch in 2023.
Mr. Carriedo is an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland.