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Diane M. Shelley appointed as HUD Regional Administrator

President Joe Biden has appointed former Illinois Judges Association President Diane M. Shelley to serve as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regional administrator for Illinois and five other Midwestern states.

Most recently, Shelley has served 15 years as judge from Cook County’s Fifth Judicial Subcircuit, resolving complex business, construction, housing, and employment disputes. She has also been President of the Illinois Judges Association and the Illinois Judicial Council, and was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court commission for mental health specialty courts and commission on legal professionalism.

“We are more than proud of Judge Shelley, and that she will continue her commitment to public service and play an important role in furthering HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all,” said IJA President Barbara Crowder. “Judge Shelley served the IJA with honor and distinction and – as president of the organization – helped guide the judiciary through a challenging period.”

“I believe this is a unique opportunity, and I’m committed to fulfilling this important role in the Biden-Harris Administration and working hard to make our Midwestern communities stronger,” HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Shelley said. “I loved every moment of serving as a judge, and I will always cherish my time as President of the IJA. The experience and knowledge I gained on the bench has prepared me well for this new role.”

As regional administrator of HUD’s Midwest Region, Shelley will oversee policy and will serve as a liaison to the White House to ensure the federal agency’s objectives related to housing issues are carried out.

Shelley served as IJA President in 2020 and 2021, taking the helm of the 1,250-member organization during a crucial time as the Covid-19 pandemic had forced the shutdown of courtrooms. She worked with judges and court systems across the state and provided support to keep them operational and to ensure the public had access to justice.

She also led an effort to create a partnership between the IJA and the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism to launch – “Building Confidence in our Legal System” – a continuing legal education (CLE) program aimed at developing solutions to foster a more equitable legal and judicial system and grow public trust in the legal system.

Prior to her judicial career she headed litigation at one of the world’s largest wastewater treatment agencies, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, overseeing controversies regarding the construction of the Deep Tunnel.

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