Yvette McGee Brown
A series of firsts defines the judicial career of Justice Yvette McGee Brown. She was the first African-American woman elected to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. In January 2011, she became the first African-American woman to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Justice McGee Brown was first elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile division in 1992. As lead Juvenile Court Judge, she led the creation of the Family Drug Court and the SMART Program, a truancy and educational neglect intervention program. She served on the Common Pleas Court until 2002, when she retired from the bench to create the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The Center is a multi-disciplinary child abuse and family violence program that co-locates prevention, assessment, treatment, research and advocacy services for children and families experiencing abuse. She served as founding president until early 2010, when she became a candidate for lieutenant governor of Ohio.
A common theme in Justice McGee Brown’s professional and community work is her advocacy for children and families. In the news release announcing her Supreme Court appointment, Justice McGee Brown said her service to Ohio’s children and families would continue on the Court: “I have been fortunate to have a life and career that has allowed me to pour my heart into helping others and expanding opportunities for vulnerable Ohioans. I look forward to bringing my diverse experiences and thoughtful perspectives to my work on the Ohio Supreme Court.”
Justice McGee Brown graduated from Ohio University in 1982 with a degree in journalism/public relations. She continued her education at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, earning her Juris Doctorate in 1985.
An active community and corporate leader, Justice McGee Brown has served on the boards of Ohio University, The Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, the National Council of the OSU Moritz College of Law, M/I Homes Inc. and Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio. She is the former chair of the United Way of Central Ohio, The Ohio State University Alumni Association and the YWCA Columbus Board of Directors. In 2008, Justice McGee Brown was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame. Among her many honors, she has received the Champion of Children Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, Women of Color Woman of the Year, the Girl Scout Great Award, and several honors from Ohio University and The Ohio State University.
Justice McGee Brown is married to Tony Brown. They have three children and one grandson.