Lou Gieszl
Terri Charles


For Immediate Release

Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2001-E/F Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

President Barack Obama Nominates Maryland Court of Appeals
Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera to the State Justice Institute
Board of Directors


(ANNAPOLIS, Md. —July 20, 2016) President Barack Obama has nominated Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera to serve on the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute (SJI).  Chief Judge Barbera’s nomination was provided to the U.S. Senate on July 13 for confirmation.

Chief Judge BarberaIf confirmed by the Senate, Chief Judge Barbera will succeed outgoing board member Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 2009 through 2015.  Chief Judge Barbera’s term on the SJI Board of Directors would expire on September 17, 2018.

“I am honored to be nominated by President Obama to serve on the State Justice Institute’s Board of Directors,” said Chief Judge Barbera.  “It would be a privilege to work with this unique organization to support our state courts, help address major issues in criminal, civil, juvenile, family, and appellate matters, encourage innovative solutions, and better serve the public.”

Established by federal law in 1984, the State Justice Institute (SJI) awards grants to improve the quality of justice in state courts and foster innovative, efficient solutions to common issues faced by all courts.  SJI assists state courts in criminal, civil, juvenile, family, and appellate matters and shares successful innovations with other state court systems.

SJI is a non-profit corporation governed by an 11-member board of directors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. By law, the President appoints six state court judges, one state court administrator, and four members of the public.

Mary Ellen Barbera has been Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals since 2013, and was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2008.  Prior to that, she served as a judge for the Maryland Court of Special Appeals from 2002 to 2008.  From 1998 to 2002, she served as deputy legal counsel and then legal counsel in the Office of the Maryland Governor.  Previously, she was deputy chief of the Office of the Maryland Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division from 1989 to 1998 and an assistant attorney general from 1985 to 1989.  Chief Judge Barbera is an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law.

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