Ret. Sen. Joe Dunn Named Executive Director of State Bar

San Francisco — State Bar President Howard Miller announced Monday that after a nationwide search, the Board of Governors of the State Bar has selected former State Senator Joseph L. Dunn to be the new Executive Director of the State Bar.

He will begin his service at a date after the State Bar annual convention in Monterey and subject to the execution of a formal contract for his employment

The position became available after Judy Johnson, who has served as executive director for more than 10 years, announced her resignation this past January. “Judy Johnson has been the heart and soul of the State Bar,” Miller said, “and we are extremely fortunate to have found someone who can continue her work with the same distinction she brought to the position. We are also extremely pleased she agreed to continue to serve as a consultant until February 2011 to help guide the Bar through this transition period.

Senator Joe Dunn (ret.)

Dunn, 52, was a member of the California State Senate from 1998 to 2006, and in 2005 and 2006, served as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 2006 to 2009 he served as CEO/Executive Director of the California Medical Association.

“I am honored to have been offered this position. My life commitment has been to the legal profession, and there is no better way I can think of to show that commitment than to assist the Board of Governors with its work at the State Bar,” Dunn said.

State Bar President-elect Bill Hebert said he was “extremely pleased that after a thorough search that Senator Dunn, with his extensive background and experience, has been named to the position. He will be a major aid to the Board of Governors as we advance the mission of the Bar and seek to meet the challenges facing the legal profession.”

Dunn’s appointment is the third and final senior position to be filled this year, following the previous appointments of former State Bar President James Towery as Chief Trial Counsel and Senior Executive Starr Babcock as General Counsel.