MSU alumna Debra M. Brown to become Mississippi’s first Black female chief federal judge

Chief Judge Debra M. Brown
Chief Judge Debra M. Brown (Submitted photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State alumna and U.S. District Judge Debra M. Brown is set to become the Magnolia State’s first Black female chief federal judge.

A ceremony will be held Friday at the U.S. Courthouse in Greenville where Brown will receive the gavel and become the new Chief Judge of the Northern District of Mississippi. She succeeds District Judge Sharion Aycock, also an MSU alumna, in the role of chief judge.

Brown has served as a district judge since being nominated by former president Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2013. She is a 1987 graduate of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design. Brown worked professionally as an architect before pursuing law school and graduating from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1997.

Prior to being appointed as a judge, Brown practiced law at Wise Carter Child & Carraway and Phelps Dunbar law firms in Jackson. She has served as president of the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association. Among her professional accolades, she was the 2004 recipient of the Jackson Young Lawyers Outstanding Service Award and named as one of Mississippi’s Leading Businesswomen in 2008 by the Mississippi Business journal. In 2014, she was recognized as the MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Alumna of the Year.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 3:46 pm