Lorri Montgomery
Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts

Kentucky’s top court administrator receives national leadership award

Williamsburg, Va., Aug. 23, 2018 — Laurie K. Dudgeon, director of the Administrative Office of the Kentucky Courts, is the recipient of the 2018 Mary C. McQueen Award for Excellence and Leadership in Justice System Improvement.

The award is presented by the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), the National Association for Court Management (NACM), and the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO). 

Dudgeon, who received the award this week at the annual joint conference of CCJ and COSCA, leads nearly 3,400 court employees in Kentucky, serves 404 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks, and administers the state’s $440 million judicial budget.
Dudgeon became director in 2009, at the height of the recession, and reduced costs while not only meeting the needs of the courts but by making groundbreaking changes to the state’s pretrial release process and helping to implement penal code and juvenile justice reform. And under her leadership, Kentucky continues to offer more online court services and plans for new trial and appellate case management systems.

“Laurie is – and always has been – a respected leader and an inimitable professional who has used her platform as head of the AOC to advocate for issues of interest to state courts on the state and national levels,” Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr., wrote in a nomination letter. “Laurie’s recent work has focused on producing positive outcomes from juvenile justice reform and bail reform. Her dedication to the complex needs of children and those who deserve fair and just pretrial release exemplifies the spirit of the McQueen Award.

“…Laurie’s tireless efforts on behalf of state courts have been invaluable on the state and
national levels,” Chief Justice Minton added. “Her contributions to juvenile justice reform and bail reform have been nothing short of remarkable.”

Dudgeon is also a leader among her peers. She is a member of COSCA’s board and is co-chair of the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices.

Mary McQueen, who has served as NCSC president since 2004, is a long-time advocate for court and judicial reform. Before leading NCSC, she served for 17 years as state court administrator in Washington state. CCJ, COSCA, NACM, and NAPCO established the Mary C. McQueen Award in 2015 to recognize an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to improving the administration of justice at the local, state or national level. Dudgeon is the second recipient of the award, which is presented biennially in even numbered years.

CCJ is made up of the highest judicial officer of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands
COSCA consists of the state court administrator or equivalent official in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands.

NACM has more than 1,700 members from the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries, and is the largest organization of court management professionals in the world.

NAPCO membership is open to chief, presiding and leadership judges, court executives and others interested in improving state trial courts. 

NCSC, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. NCSC provides executive management services to CCJ, COSCA, NACM, NAPCO and several other court associations. Founded in 1971 by the CCJ and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts and to courts in other countries.



National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA  23185-4147