An Ohio University alumna who is the first African-American woman to serve on Ohio’s highest court has announced she is seeking election to the position to which she was appointed.
Yvette McGee Brown, a 1982 OU graduate and former member of the OU Board of Trustees, is running for justice of the Ohio Supreme Court — a position she was appointed to by former Gov. Ted Strickland. McGee Brown, a Democrat, is running opposite Republican Sharon L. Kennedy. McGee Brown was selected to fill a vacancy on the court created by the election of Justice Maureen O’Connor as chief justice in 2010.
McGee Brown was also Strickland’s running mate during the 2010 gubernatorial election.
In her prepared remarks announcing her candidacy, McGee Brown said she is seeking to be a justice because she felt she had an impact in the position.
“I believe that I have had a real impact, by bringing a life experience and a perspective to the high court that might not otherwise be represented,” she said. “Our courts need to be the place where the scales of justice are balanced, where individual citizens have the same rights as the biggest corporations. “
McGee Brown graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism/public relations. She received a law degree from Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law in 1985.
OU President Roderick McDavis said he was excited to hear of McGee Brown’s candidacy.
“I am proud of her and all of her accomplishments in her career as they relate to being an advocate for families and children,” he said, adding she “did a magnificent job for Ohio University” in the nearly two years she served on the university’s board of trustees.
“I am excited about having this opportunity to have an alumnus serve on the Ohio Supreme Court,” McDavis added. “I’m very excited about it and very pleased for her.”
McGee Brown was first elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas’ Domestic Relations and Juvenile Division in 1992, where she led in the creation of the Family Drug Court and the SMART Program, a truancy and educational neglect intervention program. She served on the Common Pleas Court until she retired from the bench in 2002 to create the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The center is a multi-disciplinary child abuse and family violence program. She served as founding president until 2010, when she became a candidate for lieutenant governor of Ohio.
McGee Brown has served on the board of Ohio University, Ohio State University Medical Center, the National Council of the OSU Moritz College of Law, M/I Homes Inc. and Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio. She is the former chairwoman of United Way of Central Ohio, the Ohio State University Alumni Association and the YWCA Columbus Board of Directors. McGee Brown was inducted into the Oho Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008. She has received the Champion of Children Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement Award and several honors from Ohio University and Ohio State University.