President Barack Obama recently appointed Former Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Doris A. Smith-Ribner to the new 15-member President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

A White House press release issued earlier this year announced the names of those appointed along with Smith-Ribner. Other members include college presidents and professors, nationally-recognized child development experts, the president of the United Negro College Fund and other distinguished leaders.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and member of its Board of Visitors for the past 15 years, Smith-Ribner served as a Pennsylvania State Appeals Court Judge from 1988 until 2009.

Before then she was nominated by Gov. Thornburgh to become the first African-American woman to serve on the Alle­gheny County Common Pleas Court where she was assigned to the Juvenile Division.

She also was appointed to the Pennsylvania Judicial Auditing Agency and served 13 years, the last five as chairperson, and served in other positions by gubernatorial and Supreme Court appointments.  She currently serves on the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission’s Criminal Justice and Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committees.

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