Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Pamela G. Alexander, formerly president of the Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice, to the bench of Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District (Hennepin County) in February 2013.
Alexander began her legal career as a criminal defense attorney with the Legal Rights Center, then became a prosecutor with the Hennepin County Attorney’s office in the Criminal Division. The late Gov. Rudy Perpich appointed her to the Municipal Court of Minnesota in 1983, making her the youngest person and the first African American woman to be appointed a Hennepin County judge. In 1986, through court merger, she became a Hennepin County District Court judge and was re-elected in 1990, 1996, and 2002. She served as assistant chief judge of the entire bench (1996-98) and the presiding judge over the Juvenile Division until 2008, when she stepped down from the courts to head the Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice.
The Minneapolis native received her B.A. from Augsburg College and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she is a frequent participant in its conferences, forums, and presentations for student organizations. She has taught as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law, a predecessor school of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and the University of St. Thomas Law School, which selected her for its Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Alexander is a member of the Children’s Defense Fund, Juvenile Judges Leadership Council, Minneapolis Foundation Board of Trustees, Minnesota Supreme Court Equal Fairness in the Courts Committee, and many additional community boards. In 2010 she was named one of the Twin Cities’ top minority corporate executives by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
Among her many honors are the 2011 Woman of Courage Award from the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, the NAACP Profiles in Courage Award, and the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award for outstanding service to the community.