Members of the Minnesota Infinity Project leadership team (Zuri Balmakund, Gloria Stamps-Smith, Debra Fitzpatrick, Marie Failinger and Vildan Teske) at a 2016 collaborative event on the importance of judicial diversity.

Minnesota has several well qualified women serving on the federal bench. They include: District Court Judges Nancy Brasel, Wilhelmina WrightAnn MontgomeryJoan Ericksen, and Susan Richard Nelson; and Magistrate Judges Elizabeth Cowan WrightHildy Bowbeer, Becky Thorson and Kate Menendez.

According to Gavel Gap, 32% of Minnesota’s state court judges are white women compared to 41% of the population and 7% are women of color compared to 9% of the population.  Minnesota’s female Supreme Court majority includes a member of a tribal nation, an African American and a member of the LGBTQ community.

Lola Velaquez-Aguilu (Past President), Jeannine Lee (Past President), Vildan Teske (Past President), Honorable Mary Vasaly (Founder and Past President), Debra Fitzpatrick (Executive Director), and Lisa Montpetit Brabbit (Founder and Past President) accepted the Infinity Project’s Minnesota Lawyer 2019 Diversity and Inclusion award.

Recent News


The Infinity Project selected as a recipient of the 2019 Minnesota Lawyer Diversity and Inclusion award. (2019)

Counter Point:  Diversity and Transparency Needed in Stras Nomination, Not a Rubber Stamp (2017)

Number of Female Chief Judges for District Courts in Minnesota Reaches Historic Levels (2017)

Dayton’s Most Lasting Legacy (2017)

Dayton picks new Supreme Court justice: Anne McKeig (2016)

The Minnesota Supreme Court primary may be the most important election nobody’s heard of (2016)

Dayton MN Supreme Court pick is court’s first openly gay member (2016)

Senate confirms Wright as U.S. judge in historic appointment (2016)

A push for federal court diversity (2015)


Governor Mark Dayton Judicial Appointments

Paulsen announces application process for vacancies on federal district court

Ballotpedia: Judicial Selection in Minnesota


Please contact any one of the following Infinity Project officers in Minnesota for more information or to get involved:

Sybil Dunlop, President (SDunlop@GreeneEspel.com)

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu, Past President (lola.velazquez-aguilu@medtronic.com)

Vildan Teske, Past President (teske@teskemicko.com)

Jeannine Lee, Past President (jeannine.lee@stinsonleonard.com)

Gloria Stamps Smith, Past President (gloria.stamps-smith@co.hennepin.mn.us)

Jeanette Bazis, Past President (JBazis@GreeneEspel.com)

Honorable Mary Vasaly, Past President (mary.vasaly@courts.state.mn.us)

Marie A. Failinger, Past President (marie.failinger@mitchellhamline.edu)

Lisa Montpetit Brabbit, Past President (lmbrabbit@stthomas.edu)


Other members of Minnesota’s Infinity Project board include:

Katherine Barrett Wiik — Best & Flanagan

Zuri Balmakund – Hennepin County Attorney’s Office

Honorable Gail Chang Bohr (ret) — Ramsey County District Court

Honorable Hildy Bowbeer — Magistrate Judge District of Minnesota

Kate Bruce — Faegre Baker Daniels

Carol Chomsky — University of Minnesota Law School

Sybil Dunlop — Greene Espel

Honorable Sam Hanson — Minnesota Supreme Court (ret.) Briggs and Morgan

Sue Holden — Sieben Carey

Barb Jones — Minnesota Lawyer

Irene Kao — League of Minnesota Cities

Peggy Kubicz Hall — Greene Espel

Raleigh Hannah Levine — Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Maria Mitchell — Ramsey County Attorney’s Office

Laura Provinzino — U.S. Attorney’s Office

Tim Purdon — Robins Kaplan

Melissa Muro LaMere— Maslon LLP

Honorable Anne McKeig — Minnesota Supreme Court

Honorable Susan Richard Nelson — United States District Court, Minnesota

Honorable Heidi Schellhas – Minnesota Court of Appeals

Honorable Stephen Smith — Ramsey County District Court

Honorable Nicole Starr — Ramsey County District Court

Honorable Rachna Sullivan — Fredrikson & Byron, PA

Honorable Becky Thorson — Magistrate Judge District of Minnesota

Chelsea Walcker — Robins Kaplan



Honorable Pamela Alexander — Hennepin County District Court

Honorable John W. Borg (ret) — Special Master, Mediator, Arbitrator, Qualified Neutral

Lew Remele — Bassford Remele

Honorable James Rosenbaum (ret) — JAMS

Honorable Esther Tomljanovich (ret)

©2017 The Infinity Project. In the Eighth Circuit Courts—Because Gender Fairness Matters. All rights reserved.

Support the Infinity Project.