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Judicial Conference Recognizes Director's Service to Judiciary
In a resolution presented by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the
Judicial Conference recognized “with appreciation, admiration and respect” the
service of Leonidas Ralph Mecham as Director of the Administrative Office of the
U.S. Courts. Mecham has served under three chief justices and for more than 20
years as the Administrative Office’s director, earning him the distinction of
serving longer than any previous director in the agency’s history. The
resolution read, in part:
“Under Ralph Mecham’s stewardship, the federal court system has flourished.
Ralph Mecham has focused on enhancing support to the Judicial Conference and its
committees, building relationships, and providing excellent services to judges
and the courts. He has also promoted effectiveness and achievement in all
Judiciary programs. Ralph Mecham’s acumen for legislative affairs greatly
strengthened the Judiciary’s ability to communicate its budgetary and
legislative needs to Congress and the executive branch. His success in securing
adequate resources for the Judiciary in tight budgetary climates enabled federal
courts to maintain high standards of service to the public while carrying out
the Judiciary’s critical mission. He tirelessly pursued increases in judges’ and
court executives’ pay and enhancements of benefits to ensure that the federal
Judiciary can recruit and retain the best people. He created a program that
enabled the Judiciary to obtain funding for new courthouses to replace aging,
unsafe facilities, and he pushed to enhance judicial security.
Ralph Mecham has endeavored to reach out across the judicial family to build
strong relationships and seek broad input. He championed innovations that have
revolutionized court administration. His initiative to decentralize financial
and management responsibilities to the courts provided judges and court managers
with the flexibility they needed to address their unique requirements and
priorities, and enhanced accountability and effectiveness. Recognizing early the
potential benefits of new technologies, he transformed court operations through
the deployment of a data communications network and numerous systems.
Ralph Mecham’s visionary leadership, deep devotion to the independence and
integrity of the federal Judiciary, and unflagging spirit, drive and
determination have left an enduring legacy for federal judicial administration.
A man of remarkable intelligence and good humor, he has inspired others to
accomplish a great deal, as well.”