William Thorne

Judge William A. Thorne, Jr.


Judge William A. Thorne, Jr. was formerly a judge on the State of Utah Court of Appeals and in the Third District Court. He has served as a tribal court judge in 10 states and is the former president of the National Indian Justice Center, a non-profit that trains tribal court personnel around the country. Nationally known as a leading expert on policies and programs to support children, particularly Native American children and their families, Judge Thorne is currently chair of the Board of Directors for Child Trends, Inc., a premiere non-profit, child-centered research group. He is also a board member of WestEd, Inc., a non-profit focused on excellence and equity in education and a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. A former member of the board of directors for National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a non-profit group that provides representation for abused and neglected children in court and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a non-profit seeking to improve the level of research and practice related to adoptions and the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), Judge Thorne has also served as a member of the American Bar Association’s Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and was a member of the PEW Commission of Children in Foster Care. Judge Thorne is a graduate of the University of Santa Clara and Stanford Law School. He was formerly chair of the Utah Juvenile Justice Task Force of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, vice-chair of the Utah Board of Youth Corrections, member of the Salt Lake County Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, and a member of the steering committee for the Judicial Council’s Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness.