The Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration

Warren E. BurgerThe Warren E. Burger Award honors the late Chief Justice of the United States, who was instrumental in founding the National Center for State Courts and its Institute for Court Management.

Chief Justice Burger was a staunch supporter of the mission of the National Center for State Courts to improve judicial administration through leadership and service to state courts.

The Burger Award recognizes an individual, other than a sitting judge, whose service, over a career or substantial period of time, has significantly contributed to improving the administration of the state courts. Service may be at the local, state, or national level.

This prestigious award honors a person who demonstrates professional expertise, leadership, integrity, creativity, innovativeness, and sound judgment.

Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Be active in work devoted to improving state courts, or recently retired;
  • Have significant experience serving or assisting state or local courts; and
  • Have provided leadership at the state or national level to improve state court systems.

The following information must accompany each nomination:

  • Letter of nomination setting forth up to three major accomplishments of the nominee;
  • A resume for the nominee; and
  • Two letters of reference from individuals who have direct knowledge of the nominee’s accomplishments.


Solicitation of nominations is sought from members of the NCSC Board of Directors, its advisory committees and associations for which NCSC serves as secretariat. Any person interested in improving the operation of state courts may submit a nomination. The current nomination period has ended.

The selection committee

The Governance and Nominations Committee of the NCSC Board of Directors serves as the selection committee for this award. The Committee may consider nominations on its own motion. Nominations are solicited annually. When a nominee is selected, the award will be presented at a time and location mutually agreeable to the recipient and NCSC.

  • 2022 - Liz Rambo
  • 2021 - Sally Holewa
  • 2020 - Rebecca L. Sandefur, Ph.D.
  • 2019 - Justin A. Barry
  • 2018 -  Maureen E. Conner, Ph.D

See the complete list of recipients.