San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that Dwain Woodley, the Assistant District Attorney, was honored Wednesday night with the San Diego Human Relations Commission’s Bayard Rustin Honors award at a ceremony at City Hall.
The Bayard Rustin Honors awards celebrates San Diegans who work tirelessly as advocates or activists for equality and equity, social justice and community. Bayard Rustin was an American civil rights activist who was an adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr., and who was the main organizer of the March on Washington in 1963.
Woodley was recognized for his continued and tireless efforts in enhancing the equity, safety, and overall wellbeing of San Diego communities.
“Dwain Woodley treats everyone with dignity and respect, giving a voice to the entire team and to the People of San Diego County,” DA Stephan said. “His leadership focuses on internal accountability and community-based partnerships. He has worked tirelessly to deliver fair and equal justice, support victims of crime, build trust with the public and develop direct access to our office for all the diverse communities we serve. I am proud to work alongside Assistant DA Dwain Woodley to continue to build a model prosecutor’s office that balances public safety and responsible criminal justice reform.”
Assistant DA Woodley helped develop and lead the DA’s Community Partnership Prosecutors program which has been especially successful connecting the public with much-needed services around domestic violence, child abuse and hate crimes. He also works with the advocacy organization “For the People” on reviewing cases that might qualify for prosecutor-initiated resentencings.
A former public defender, Woodley joined the DA’s Office as a Deputy DA in 2001. He began his management track in 2008 serving as Assistant Chief of Central Pretrial and Disposition Division, Assistant Chief of Superior Court Division, Chief of Superior Court Division, Chief of the Juvenile Branch, and Chief of the South Bay Branch. In 2018, DA Stephan named Woodley Chief Deputy DA and in 2021 he was selected as the Assistant District Attorney.
Woodley served honorably in the United States Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1989-1995, where he was both a prosecutor and defense counsel. His last assignment in the military was a staff attorney for Office of General Counsel at the National Security Agency. He then served as a San Diego Deputy Public Defender before joining the District Attorney’s Office in 2001.
“Dwain has been instrumental in further developing our office as one that reflects the diversity of the community we serve by striving to recruit and retain the most talented, diverse and inclusive workforce in order to improve our pursuit of a fair and equal justice for all,” DA Stephan said.
Woodley grew up in Baltimore Maryland and graduated from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) and University of Maryland Law School and completed the Prosecutors for Now course at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.