WestEd’s JPRC is dedicated to conducting research and evaluation on issues that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, young and old. So we were pleased to see that the newly elected chair of our agency’s governing board for 2017/18 is retired Utah State Court of Appeals Judge William A. Thorne Jr., an individual whose professional and personal life reflects an abiding commitment to addressing the needs of our most underserved populations.
A Pomo/Coast Miwok Indian from northern California, Thorne is enrolled at the Confederated Tribes of the Graton Rancheria. After receiving his law degree from Stanford, he began practicing in Utah, with an emphasis on federal Indian law. From 1979 to 1986, when the Utah governor appointed him as a state trial judge, Thorne served as a judge for numerous tribes in states from California to Michigan. In 2000, he was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals, from which he recently retired.
Over the years, Thorne has served on a broad range of boards, commissions, and professional committees focused on protecting vulnerable populations, among them, the Native American Rights Fund, National Court Appointed Special Advocates, North American Council on Adoptable Children, PEW Commission on Children in Foster Care, Utah Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, Youth Corrections Board for the State of Utah, Salt Lake Domestic Violence Council, U.S. Civil Rights Advisory Committee for the State of Utah, and Utah Juvenile Justice Task Force.
Read more about Judge Thorne on the WestEd website.