The Eleventh Judicial Circuit is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Deirdre Dunham, currently Chief Personnel Officer, as the next Trial Court Administrator for the Miami-Dade County Courts – the largest trial court circuit in the state and one of the five largest in the nation.
She will succeed Ms. Sandra M. Lonergan, who retires on June 30, 2022, after 13 years as Trial Court Administrator and nearly 40 years of service to the Miami-Dade Courts.
Ms. Dunham brings to the position 22 years of legal and management experience – leaving private practice in labor and employment litigation in the early 2000s to join the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in 2002 as an Assistant General Counsel. During her tenure in the Office of the General Counsel, she provided wide-ranging legal support to judges throughout the Circuit and provided substantial legal assistance to the Executive Office in connection with personnel issues and employee relations.
In 2018, she was appointed Chief Personnel Officer, where her leadership has been marked by a strong focus on innovation and collaboration. Ms. Dunham is currently overseeing the transition from an antiquated job applicant management system to a new platform featuring improved data tracking and analytics on labor force trends. She is also overseeing the transition to a paperless personnel filing system, expected to reduce paper waste and create new efficiencies in records management.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Dunham established responsive workforce procedures, including incident reporting, contact tracing, and pandemic-related leave policies following state and federal guidance. She played a key role in strategizing the Court’s transition to remote work to address health and safety concerns related to the pandemic. Subsequently, she successfully lobbied court leadership for the adoption of a permanent hybrid remote/on-site work option, providing greater flexibility for court employees and resulting in an improved work culture. Her efforts were featured in a Sept. 5, 2021, Miami Herald editorial on women leading long-term changes in the workforce post-pandemic.
Ms. Dunham was selected pursuant to a nationwide search for qualified applicants, a process led by a selection committee including the administrative judges from every division of the Miami-Dade Circuit and County Courts and members of the court’s leadership and human resources team.
“Ms. Dunham isn’t just an excellent choice – she is the best choice for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit,” said Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie. “She has proven to be a thoughtful and forward-thinking leader who helped us turn the challenges of COVID-19 into a more flexible court environment for judges, staff, and the community we serve. I am excited for the future of the Eleventh Circuit under her vision and dedication.”
# # #
The mission of Florida’s judicial branch is to protect rights and liberties, uphold and interpret the law, and provide for the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Visit us on the Web: www.jud11.flcourts.org
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @miamidadecourts