William A. Thorne, Jr., Retired Utah Court of Appeals Judge, to Chair WestEd Board of Directors

William A. Thorne

San Francisco, CA — July 20, 2017 — William A. Thorne, Jr., has been elected Chair of the WestEd Board of Directors. Thorne, who has been a member of the board for 12 years, begins his one-year leadership position July 20.

Thorne is a native Californian, and member of the Pomo/Coast Miwok Indian tribe. After graduating from Stanford Law School in 1977, he moved to Utah, specialized in Federal Indian Law, and represented both individuals and businesses. He began service as a tribal court judge in 12 western states in 1979 and was appointed trial judge for the state of Utah in the mid-80s. He became a judge of the Utah Court of Appeals in 2000 and is now retired.

“I look forward to working with other board members to support the excellent work WestEd does to promote high quality education and healthy development for children, youth, and adults,” says Thorne. “Now more than ever, a strong education is important for all learners, and I look forward to working with the board to support the agency in carrying out its important mission.”

WestEd’s Board of Directors is composed of leaders from public and private education, business, human services communities, and the public. Board members take an active role in agency leadership and strategic planning.

“Judge Thorne has contributed significantly to the WestEd board over the 12 years he has served,” says Glen Harvey, WestEd CEO. “His knowledge and experience in the areas of equity and the education of vulnerable populations is extremely valuable to the board and to WestEd. We look forward to working closely with him throughout the coming year.”

Thorne is taking over the board leadership role from Tacy Ashby, Senior Vice President of Strategic Educational Alliances at Grand Canyon University, who served as chair for 2016–17.

In addition to his leadership position on the WestEd board, Thorne serves with the following organizations: Vice President of the National Indian Justice Center; Member of the advisory board for the Capacity Building Center for Tribes; Board member for the Center for the Study of Social Policy; Works regularly with the Casey Family Programs Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Haywood Burns Institute, and other nonprofit and governmental entities focused on improving the lives of children.

Thorne received a BA from the University of Santa Clara, and a JD from Stanford University. In 2016, Thorne was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the National Center for State Courts.

About WestEd
WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd has more than a dozen offices nationwide, from Massachusetts, Vermont and Georgia, to Illinois, Arizona and California, with headquarters in San Francisco. More information about WestEd is available at WestEd.org.


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