On November 10, 1999, Ann Claire Williams was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President William J. Clinton. Judge Williams became the first African American ever appointed to the Seventh Circuit and the third African American woman to serve on any United States Court of Appeals. Judge Williams had previously been appointed in 1985 by President Ronald W. Reagan to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Apart from her duties as a judge, Ann Williams has a long history of service to the federal judiciary. In 2008, Chief Justice John G. Roberts appointed Judge Williams to a second three-year term on the Supreme Court Fellows Program Commission. In 1993, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist appointed Judge Williams as the first woman and first African American to be Chair of the Court Administration and Case Management Committee (CACM) of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 1993 to 1997, after she had served on the Committee from 1990-1993.
In addition to her memberships in various bar groups, including the Chicago, Women’s, Cook County, Black Women Lawyers, Federal, and American Bar Associations, Judge Williams also serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame, The National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Equal Justice Works, and Just The Beginning Foundation. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Before becoming a lawyer, Ann Williams began her career as a music and third grade teacher in the inner city public schools of Detroit, Michigan, after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State University in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Michigan while working full time. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.more » « less