Mari Kay Bickett, chief executive officer for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has announced her plans for retirement. For the past five years, Bickett has led the national organization headquartered in Reno, Nev., which serves an estimated 30,000 professionals in the juvenile and family justice system across the country. Through providing resources, expertise and training to these professionals, the NCJFCJ improves the lives of families and children.
“Mari Kay has led the NCJFCJ on a transformational journey,” said Judge Darlene Byrne, NCJFCJ board president. “Under her leadership, she has been an inspirational driving force in helping us address the needs of judges and our courts so they can meet the needs of children and families facing a fast tide of change.”
During Bickett’s tenure, the NCJFCJ received $11.3 million in grants for the new fiscal year, the largest ever for the organization. She has streamlined the organizational operating structure for the Reno office and the National Council for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), the research division of the NCJFCJ, located in Pittsburgh, Penn. In the last year, the board of directors has diversified its director membership, strengthening the organization’s outreach and expertise. In spring 2016, the Reno offices will be moving into a new location, bringing the Reno staff together in one facility. Most importantly, the NCJFCJ had a $14 million economic impact in Nevada in 2014.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as NCJFCJ’s CEO,” said Bickett. “The NCJFCJ is at a pinnacle of success in its almost 80-year existence in serving children, families and victims of domestic violence, and I’m confident that will continue because of an incredible team and network of professionals I’ve come to respect and admire. The NCJFCJ has brought me such professional and personal pleasure because of all that is has accomplished.”
Bickett will be involved in the transition plan for NCJFCJ, as well as a search for a new CEO, and will remain with the organization through July 31, 2016. The NCJFCJ will be launching a national recruitment effort for its next CEO. Information on that search can be found at http://www.ncjfcj.org/about/chief-executive-officer-ceo.
From 1994-2010, Bickett served as CEO/executive director of the Texas Center for the Judiciary, the primary provider of specialized judicial education and training for trial and appellate judges in Texas. Bickett served on various committees of the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families, and as an executive officer and board member on the Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates Board of Directors.
Prior to her work in Texas, she practiced law in Reno, served as a judge pro tem in the Reno Municipal Courts, served on the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the State Bar of Nevada, and was president of the Northern Nevada Women Lawyers Association.
Bickett grew up in Reno, graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, and received her law degree from Nevada School of Law at Old College.
About the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ):
Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nev.-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization and focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.