Melinda Vaughn Named Deputy Director of the Bolch Judicial Institute

Jul 25, 2023Latest News

The Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law is pleased to announce the appointment of Melinda Myers Vaughn as the Institute’s deputy director.

In her role as deputy director, Vaughn will collaborate with the Institute’s director, leadership boards, and Duke Law School’s administration to provide strategic guidance across all the Institute’s programs, publications, and events. She will also continue in her role as managing editor of Judicature, the flagship publication of the Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law. Vaughn previously served as associate director of operations and strategy for the Institute.

“I could not be more pleased with the selection of Melinda Vaughn as our new deputy director,” said Paul W. Grimm, the David F. Levi Professor of the Practice of Law and Director of the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law School. “Her expertise and passion for communicating and promoting the rule of law along with her longstanding commitment to judicial education, research, and public engagement make her the perfect fit for this role. She will reinforce the Institute’s reputation for fostering innovative legal scholarship and educational programs as we strive to further the rule of law both nationally and internationally.”

Vaughn joined what was then Duke Law’s Center for Judicial Studies in 2015 to help relaunch Judicature, a 100-year-old publication that was at risk of disappearing after its publisher, the American Judicature Society, dissolved at a national level. Now published by the Bolch Judicial Institute, Judicature mails three times each year to more than 5,000 U.S. judges and is visited online by more than 150,000 readers each year.

In 2018, under the direction of David F. Levi, the founding director of the Bolch Judicial Institute and former dean of Duke Law School, Vaughn helped launch the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law School. Building on the Center for Judicial Studies’ history of successful educational programming for judges and the expansive vision of Carl and Susan Bass Bolch, the Institute marshals the resources of the legal profession, the judiciary, and the academy to study, advance, and protect the rule of law and judicial independence around the globe. As a founding member of the Institute’s staff, Vaughn helped lay the foundation for many of Institute’s flagship programs and events, such as the annual Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law, and spearheaded new programs like the Rule of Law Judicial Fellowship.

Before joining the Institute, Vaughn served as executive director of communications and events for Duke Law School (2007-2013); as senior editor and then senior manager for content marketing for Citrix’s software-as-a-service division (2013-2015); and as executive director of communications and events at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law (2003-2007). She has worked in development communications, public relations, and as an editor and journalist in Utah, California, and Ohio. She holds degrees in English Literature and Mass Communications from the University of Utah.

“Our work to strengthen the rule of law — whether through educational programs for judges, research that explores thorny issues in the law, or publications and programs that improve public understanding of the judiciary and its role in our democracy — couldn’t be more important or timely,” said Vaughn. “I am honored to work at the Bolch Judicial Institute with such a talented and committed team of colleagues, and I look forward to contributing in new and more substantial ways as we continue to advance our mission to better the human condition by studying and promoting the rule of law.”

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