September 27-29, 2023 | Pittsburgh, PA
2023 Summit Dates Announced!
September 27-29, 2023
Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.)
Of Counsel, Jones Day
Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.), a trailblazer and leader, heads Jones Day’s efforts in advancing the rule of law in Africa. Devoted to promoting the effective delivery of justice worldwide, particularly in Africa, she has partnered with judiciaries, attorneys, NGOs, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and State to lead training programs in Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. She also has taught at the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
President Ronald Reagan nominated her in 1985 to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, making her the first woman of color to serve on a district court in the three-state Seventh Circuit. In 1999, President William Clinton’s nomination made her the first judge of color to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the third Black woman to serve on any federal circuit court. She brings her vast experience on the bench to serve as a resource for the Firm’s leading trial and appellate practices.
Judge Williams has served on many judicial committees and, as treasurer and president of the Federal Judges Association, was the first person of color to become an officer. Committed to public interest work, she helped found Just The Beginning — A Pipeline Organization, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Chicago, Minority Legal Education Resources, and the Public Interest Fellowship Program for Equal Justice Works. She serves on the boards of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, University of Notre Dame, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Weinstein International Foundation, iCivics, Board of Counselors for Equal Justice Works, and Museum of Science & Industry Chicago and chairs the Advisory Board of the International Law Institute-South African Centre for Excellence. She is also chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary for 2021-2022.