McQueen Named to National Center for State Courts

Mary Campbell McQueen selected as president of the National Center for State Courts

The National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) Board of Directors has selected Seattle University School of Law adjunct professor Mary Campbell McQueen as the next NCSC president. Chief Justice of California Ronald M. George, chair of the National Center’s Board, said the decision was unanimous. McQueen is Court Administrator of the Washington State Courts and replaces Roger K. Warren as NCSC president. Warren has held the position since 1996, announcing his plans to resign in November. McQueen’s appointment becomes effective in August.

McQueen said she views the presidency as a “privilege” and a “chance to make a significant contribution to the nation’s state courts,” which she regards as being on the cutting edge of societal issues. “More than 98 percent of all court cases take place in the state courts,” she said. “In this position I look forward to working with the staff, state court administrators, and judicial officers to improve the way the courts operate.”

Chief Justice of Wisconsin Shirley S. Abrahamson, who headed the presidential search committee, said McQueen’s broad range of court experience and extraordinary leadership skills made her the top candidate. “Mary’s presidency will be terrific not only for the National Center but for the state court constituencies that it serves,” Abrahamson said.

McQueen has worked with the Washington State Courts for 25 years, the past 17 as state court administrator in which she is responsible for 175 employees and a $105 million budget. Prior to joining the Washington State courts, McQueen served as court planning officer for the Washington, D.C. courts, and as court planning officer for the Kentucky Department of Justice. She earned a law degree from Seattle University and has attended post-graduate programs in judicial administration through American University, the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and through the National Center’s Institute for Court Management.

“Mary McQueen is a natural for the presidency of the National Center,” Warren said. “She is an experienced state court leader and administrator with vision, energy, and determination. The National Center’s future will be in very good hands.”

McQueen also has a long relationship with the National Center, which has 135 employees in its offices in Williamsburg, Arlington, Va., and Denver, Co. She served on the NCSC Board of Directors for three years in the mid-1990s, and in 1996 McQueen was president of the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) and vice chair of the NCSC Board.

The National Center for State Courts is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. The National Center, founded in 1971 with the encouragement of Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, provides leadership, research, technology, education, and training to the state courts. The National Center also is taking the lead on several key issues facing the justice system. For example, it has established a major civil justice initiative, which is a multi-year project that will examine the most efficient practices in civil case management and how complex litigation procedures can be improved through the use of technology. Other national initiatives being driven by the National Center include improving public trust and confidence in the courts, self representation, and the judicial selection process.