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Obama to appoint NIU alum to key post

September 9, 2013

Patricia_MartinHon. Patricia M. Martin, who received her juris doctor from the Northern Illinois University College of Law, is to be appointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.

President Obama said in a statement about his intent to appoint Judge Martin and others to key administration postions, “I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to join this administration and serve our country.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

Martin is Presiding Judge of the Child Protection Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., a position she has held since 2000. She has introduced innovative new programs that have received media attention and that jurisdictions across the country have duplicated. During her tenure as Presiding Judge, the Child Protection Division’s caseload has declined from over 27,000 cases to fewer than 7,000 cases, a reduction of over 56%. In addition to performing her administrative duties, Judge Martin continues to hear complex and high profile cases in the Child Protection Division.

Her previous roles at the Circuit Court of Cook County include Judge of the Law Division from 1998 to 2000 and Judge of the Child Protection Division from 1996 to 1998. From 1986 to 1996, she worked in various roles in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender; she was the Deputy Chief of the Fifth District from 1994 to 1996, an Attorney Trial Supervisor from 1989 to 1994, and an Assistant Public Defender from 1986 to 1989. She is a member and past chair of the Supreme Court of Illinois Judicial Conference Study Committee on Juvenile Justice. She also formerly was president of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She was a recipient of the C. F. Stradford Award from the Cook County State’s Attorney in 2007.

Created by the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012, the bipartisan, two-year Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, consists of 12 members appointed by the president and congressional leaders. The commission will work to evaluate current programs and prevention efforts and recommend a comprehensive national strategy to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities.