U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan named Woman of the Year
(March 31, 2011) Seattle University School of Law and the Women's Law Caucus presented the 2011 Woman of the Year Award to Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington.
Dean Mark Niles said Durkan's professional accomplishments and commitment to justice make her a worthy recipient.
"I've been told the surest way to get Jenny to do something is to tell her how it will help someone else," Dean Mark Niles said.
Durkan was grateful for the award and stressed that many mentors and role models helped her get where she is.
"You are already leaders," she told the women in the audience at a luncheon in her honor March 31. "By the actions you take every day you make a difference. I encourage you to be intentional in your actions to make your community, your society, better."
The Woman of the Year Award is presented annual to recognize an accomplished leader who is committed to women's issues and is a role model for young women across the state.
Durkan has been the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington since October 2009. Under her leadership, the office is increasing its efforts in enforcing intellectual property laws and combating the ever-increasing threat of cyber/digital crimes.She is also revitalizing the office's prosecutions in the areas of fraud and white collar crimes, environmental crimes, illegal gun sales and civil rights enforcement. The chief obligation of the office remains combating terrorism.
She serves on the national Attorney General's Advisory Committee and as Chair of the Sub-Committee on Cyber Crime and Intellectual Property and the Department of Justice's Intellectual Property Enforcement Task Force and its Computer Forensics Working Group.
During more than 20years as a practicing attorney, she represented a wide variety of clients in commercial litigation, personal injury and criminal cases in both state and federal court, and has played leadership roles on a variety of public policy matters. She served on the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission and as the first Citizen Observer on the Seattle Police Firearms Review Board. Two Seattle mayors asked her to serve on Citizen Review Committees for the Seattle Police Department, and she played an advisory role on the establishment of the King County Drug Court and the Mental Health court.
Active in both the state and federal bars, Durkan served a three-year term on the WSBA Board of Governors. She served on the Merit Selection Committee for the United States District Court, helping select the candidates for appointment to seven vacancies in the federal judiciary in the Western District of Washington.From 2005 to 2008, she was the lawyer representative to the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference, and she moderated a seminar panel on military justice and the Guantanamo tribunals.
Her civic involvement includes serving on the non-profit board of the Center for Women and Democracy from 2000 to 2009, as a founding Board Member for the Seattle Police Foundation from 2002 to 2004, and as the Chair of the Washington State Attorney General's Task Force on Consumer Privacy, which resulted in legislation that became a national model for identity theft protections.
Durkan is a Seattle area native and grew up in Issaquah. She is a 1980 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a 1985 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law.