Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Dorothy F. Bailey

photo of Dorothy Bailey

The Honorable Dorothy F. Bailey, a resident of Temple Hills, Maryland, for over 35 years, is a leader with extraordinary vision, dedication, compassion, and faith. Bailey has an esteemed reputation, a host of accomplishments, and an extraordinary record of service to the residents of Prince George’s County, the State of Maryland, the Washington Metropolitan area, and our Nation.

Bailey’s career has taken her from the public school classroom to the University of Maryland’s Upward Bound Program. She served as a senior-level official at various Prince George’s County government agencies, including the Consumer Protection Commission, the Department of Family Services, and the Office of the County Executive, from 1983-1994. In 1994, Bailey was elected to the Prince George’s County Council and led the Council for five years, serving as Vice Chair for three terms and Chair for two terms.

Recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the area’s most powerful women, Bailey is a passionate visionary and woman of service. Her civic involvement on local, state, national, and international levels has benefitted communities, institutions, and an infinite number of individuals. Instrumental in founding many noteworthy organizations and initiatives, she remains intimately involved with The Harlem Remembrance Foundation of Prince George’s County, The LEARN Foundation, the Kiamsha Youth Empowerment Organization, and the Royal Bafokeng (South Africa) Sister City Friendship Committee. Bailey, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Hunter Memorial AME Church, served on the national and local boards of the National Council of Negro Women. In 2011, she was elected to the National Executive Council of the Association for the Study of African Life and History (ASALH) and became President of its local chapter. In addition, Bailey was appointed to the Prince George’s County Planning Board in June 2011, and reappointed in October 2019 to serve as Vice Chair of the Board.

Bailey’s invaluable contributions have been acknowledged with hundreds of certificates of appreciation and awards for outstanding service, a few include: the Gladys Noon Spellman Award for Public Service, NAACP Image Award for Political Activism, National Council of Negro Women’s Bethune Recognition Award, North Carolina Central University’s 2013 Alumnus of the Year, National Women’s Hall of Fame 1996 Book of Lives & Legacies!, and induction into the Prince George’s County Women’s Hall of Fame.

In 2011, Bailey’s award-winning book, In a Different Light: Reflections and Beauty of Wise Women of Color, was published. This exquisite photo essay celebrates and illuminates the beauty, strength, and wisdom of 90 well-lived women—all from the state of Maryland or with strong ties to the region.

A native of Dunn, North Carolina, Bailey earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from North Carolina Central University, where she first became involved in civil rights advocacy. As a postgraduate student, she studied education and gerontology at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Maryland. In 1991, Bailey received an honorary doctorate from Riverside Baptist College and Seminary and was a 1998 graduate of the Leadership Greater Washington.

Bailey and her husband, Lionel, have two treasured children, three extraordinary grandchildren, and a terrific grandniece.

“ the time you are 70, you should have gained some wisdom to share with someone else….That you’ve had some experiences that you carry within you, within your body, within your presence. Wisdom to share with other people.” - Dorothy Bailey in March 2012 interview with Barbara Ruben, The DC Beacon, Vol. 24, No. 3.

Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 2014; updated 2023.

View Maryland State Archives BiographyBack to Top