This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.
Search Begins for New Federal Judicial Center Director
The Board of the Federal Judicial Center has begun its search for a successor
to Judge Rya W. Zobel, who has announced that she will return to the District of
Massachusetts in July 1999. Zobel has served as Director of the Center
since 1995. A search committee appointed by the Chief Justice will make
recommendations to the Board. Chief Judge Marvin E. Aspen (N.D. Ill.) chairs the
committee. Other members are Judge Bruce M. Selya (1st Cir.) and Judge Michael A. Telesca (W.D. N.Y.).
The Center's statutory functions include
- Conducting research and analysis about federal court administration, case
management, sentencing, and the litigation process, primarily for committees of
the Judicial Conference.
- Providing orientation and continuing education for judges and court
employees, through seminars and workshops, education publications, satellite
broadcasts, and multi-media programs.
- Fostering judicial federalism, international judicial education, and
preservation of federal court history.
The Center has a staff of 145 and a fiscal 1999 appropriation of $17,716,000.
The Board expects the director to relocate to the Washington, D.C., area and
commit to a term of at least four years, with the expectation that the tenure
will not exceed seven years. There are no other mandatory criteria, although the
Board has asked the committee to consider, among other things, applicants'
personal, management, and leadership skills and qualifications in the fields of
education and research, including scholarship. Substantial familiarity with the
federal courts and their operations is important. The Board has specified that
at least one of the names recommended to it by the search committee be that of a
federal judge, but it also seeks applications from nonjudges with the listed
All interested persons should contact the committee by letter (in triplicate)
expressing interest in the position and enclosing a resume.
28 U.S.C. § 133(b) provides that if an active federal judge becomes Center
director, the President shall appoint an additional judge for the director's
court, although if the director returns to the court as an active judge, the
next vacancy will go unfilled.
All expressions of interest should be sent to Chief Judge Aspen, preferably
by February 7, 1999, at the U.S. District Court, Everett McKinley Dirksen
Building, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604.
The committee expects to submit its recommendations to the Board in late
March and the Board expects to select the next director in April.
Nominations Open for 1998 Devitt Award
Nominations for the 17th annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished
Service to Justice Award are open. The award, named for the late Judge Edward J.
Devitt (D. Minn.), recognizes the dedicated public service of members of the
federal Judiciary. All Article III federal judges are eligible for nomination.
Entries should describe the nominee's accomplishments and professional
activities that have contributed to the cause of justice. Any interested person
or organization may submit a nomination by January 15, 1999, to Devitt
Distinguished Service to Justice Award, 180 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 600,
Chicago, IL. 60601-7401.