July 23, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, July 23, 2015 — The Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California has named Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, dean emerita of the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, as its next executive director/chief executive officer. She will assume her responsibilities on Sept. 1.
"I am excited to welcome Dean Parker as the State Bar's next executive director/CEO. She has stellar credentials — having successfully led many large complex organizations — and I am confident will be highly regarded by both our stakeholders and employees. She will have an immediate impact in helping increase our focus on public protection, improving the delivery of legal services, and enhancing our accountability," said State Bar President Craig Holden.
As executive director and CEO, Parker will answer to the Board of Trustees and carry out its policies. The executive director leads a senior management team responsible for the numerous programs of the State Bar of California.
Parker served as dean of the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in Sacramento for ten years. Previously she was general counsel to the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency and was the principal deputy legal adviser at the U.S. Department of State. She has worked at major national law firms and also spent a decade litigating federal class action lawsuits with legal services and civil rights organizations after graduating from the University of Michigan and its law school. She has argued successfully twice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
"For one committed to the importance of our legal system, it would be hard to imagine a more professionally fulfilling opportunity than serving as the administrative leader of the nation's largest, most forward-looking professional bar organization," Parker said. "I look forward to joining the new leadership team which the Board of Trustees is creating and to working with the bar's dedicated staff."
Current Acting and Deputy Executive Director Robert Hawley has announced his intention to depart the State Bar at the end of September. "I am pleased to see the board line up such a stellar team to lead the organization. I am most pleased to have served the State Bar for many years and to now leave for greener pastures."
President Holden added: "Bob is like an encyclopedia and has been an invaluable resource for many years. We cannot thank him enough for his decades of public service."
Holden further noted that a new chief operations officer position will replace the position of deputy executive director upon Hawley's departure in September. The COO position is on contract to the board, will answer to the executive director and will provide operations oversight and support for the organization, including IT, budget, personnel, facilities, and other operational areas.
The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, protecting the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. Membership now stands at about a quarter million.