Chief Justice Robert Appoints New Director of the Courts

WASHINGTON, D.C.(January 6, 2021)— Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., today announced the retirement of James C. Duff as the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, effective January 31, 2021, and appointment of Chief District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf as his successor, effective February 1, 2021.

The Director of the Administrative Office is the chief administrative officer of the federal courts. The Director serves under the direction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the principal policy-making body for the federal court system. The Chief Justice is the presiding officer of the Conference, which is composed of the chief judges of the 13 courts of appeals, a district judge from each of the 12 geographic circuits, and the chief judge of the Court of International Trade. The Chief Justice selects the Director.

In announcing the transition, the Chief Justice said, “Jim Duff has provided invaluable service to the Judiciary during his first term as Director from 2006 to 2011 and his second term from 2015 to the present. During these periods, he has provided superb judgment in addressing a broad range of issues. Among his many accomplishments, he has resolved budgetary challenges, implemented workplace conduct reforms, introduced new technology, strengthened and improved the auditing and oversight of the Judicial Branch’s financial management, and—most recently—ensured that the courts continue to operate effectively in the face of the nationwide pandemic. As much as I appreciate his many contributions, I understand his desire to begin a new phase of his life. On behalf of the Judiciary, I thank Jim for his leadership. I am delighted to welcome Chief Judge Mauskopf to succeed Director Duff. She brings a wealth of talent and experience to the position, and her experience as a district judge will give her a valuable perspective in addressing the issues that the Judiciary faces now and in the years ahead.”

Director Duff reflected on his service, saying, “I express my deepest appreciation to Chief Justice John Roberts for the privilege of serving twice as Director of the AO over the past 15 years. It has been a great joy to work for him and an honor to work with our federal judges, court staff, and AO personnel. I am grateful to have been part of all of their efforts to maintain the public’s trust through many challenges, including government shutdowns and the public health emergency. I look forward to other ways to serve the Judiciary in retirement and in private life. I am very excited about Chief Justice Roberts’s appointment of Judge Roz Mauskopf as the next Director. She is well known within the branch and she has the perfect skills and experience to address the challenges facing the Judiciary.”

Judge Mauskopf currently serves as the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. §133(b), she will assume full-time responsibility for the management of the Administrative Office, which has approximately 1,000 employees, and for providing administrative support to 2,400 judicial officers, and nearly 29,000 court employees. She will serve as liaison for the judicial branch in its relations with Congress, including working with congressional committees to secure the Judiciary’s annual appropriation and executing the Judiciary’s budget.

In accepting this appointment, Chief Judge Mauskopf said, “I am deeply grateful to Chief Justice Roberts for the privilege to serve the Judiciary in a new and vitally important capacity. I have gained a deep respect for the outstanding men and women who serve in the Judicial Branch through my years of service as a federal judge and as a United States Attorney. It is an honor to follow Director Duff’s very successful tenure, and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Chief Judge Mauskopf has served as a United States District Judge since October 19, 2007, and she became Chief District Judge on January 27, 2020. She has spent her entire career in public service. From 2002 to 2007, Judge Mauskopf served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and was a member of the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force, the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, and policy committees in the areas of civil rights, violent and organized crime, sentencing, and management and budget.

From October 1995 to September 2002, Chief Judge Mauskopf served as the New York State Inspector General, leading the statewide, independent office responsible for investigating allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest, waste, and abuse in all executive branch agencies. From 1982 to 1995, Chief Judge Mauskopf served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and served as Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, and Chief of the Frauds Bureau.

Chief Judge Mauskopf is active in service to the Judicial Branch. She is Chair of the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Judicial Resources on which she has served since 2011. The committee is responsible for recommending to the Judicial Conference all staffing requirements for circuit, district and bankruptcy courts, probation and pretrial offices, and federal defender offices; assessing the need for new Article III judgeships; coordinating the judiciary’s diversity and inclusion efforts; and proposing judiciary policies on human resources matters. Judge Mauskopf also serves on the Judiciary’s Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Group and the Model Employment Dispute Resolution Plan Working Group, as well as the Second Circuit Judicial Council and the Circuit Committee on Space and Security.

Chief Judge Mauskopf graduated magna cum laude and with highest honors from Brandeis University in 1979, and earned her law degree cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982. A native of Washington, D.C., she is the daughter of Czech holocaust survivors who immigrated to America and established a small neighborhood grocery store that they operated for more than 40 years.

Source: U.S. Supreme Court

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