Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award

Established in October 2015, the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award is presented by the Board of Governors to an attorney, judge, employer, organization, or bar association that significantly advances diversity and inclusion in the Arizona legal community through creative, strategic, or innovative efforts.

2024 Recipient

The Honorable Joseph C. Welty is the Presiding Judge of the Judicial Branch in Maricopa County. He was appointed to the Superior Court in 2007 by Governor Napolitano and has served on the Family, Criminal, Juvenile and Civil benches in Maricopa County. Judge Welty was the Presiding Criminal Department Judge from 2012-2015 and was the Associate Presiding Judge of the Judicial Branch from 2015-2019. In August of 2019 he was appointed Presiding Judge by the Arizona Supreme Court. Prior to taking the bench, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in Phoenix for 16 years where he served as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Section and the Chief of the National Security Section. Judge Welty has taught extensively on a broad range of topics for the U.S. Department of Justice, the Arizona Office of the Courts and numerous bar associations, and has been an adjunct professor at Arizona State University. He co-chaired the New Judge Orientation Program for the Arizona Supreme Court and chaired the Supreme Court’s Criminal Rules Task Force as well as the Task Force on Rule 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. He currently serves on the Presiding Judges Committee and Arizona Judicial Council. Judge Welty was born and raised in Phoenix. He received his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University and his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2016 Indian Legal Program at Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
2017 Arizona Collaborative Bar
2018 Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
2019 Hon. Randall M. Howe
James P. O'Sullivan
2020 Hon. David B. Gass
Ashley Villaverde Halvorson
2021 Hon. Carol Scott Berry (ret.)
2022 Hon. Frankie Jones
2023 Hon. Amanda Chua
2024 Hon. Joseph C. Welty
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