Herbert Rouson, Jr. Is Appointed DC Courts New Executive Officer

Dr. Cheryl Bailey Retires After a Remarkable 40-Year Career with the DC Courts

Herbert Rouson, Jr. has been named the DC Courts Executive Officer, effective today, May 1, 2024.

Mr. Rouson, who has held the position of Acting Deputy Executive Officer since 2019 will be taking over the top spot from Dr. Cheryl Bailey, who has retired after serving the Court and the residents of the District of Columbia for the last 40 years.

Rouson served as the Chief Deputy Clerk of the Court of Appeals from 2016 to 2019, managing the Case Management Division and the Committee on Admissions and Unauthorized Practice of Law. From 2012 to 2016, as Special Operations Division Director he oversaw the Juror Office, the Office of Court Interpreter Services, the Tax Office, Judge-in-Chambers, the Superior Court Library, the Identity Consolidation Unit, and the Child Care Center. He began his D.C. Courts career as a system accountant in the Defender Services Branch in June 2006.

I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected to serve as the DC Courts’ Executive Officer.  I owe a debt of gratitude to Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge Anita Josey-Herring and the entire Joint Committee on Judicial Administration for the District of Columbia, for their confidence and support of my serving in this mission critical role,” said Rouson.

Moreover, to have been afforded this opportunity to lead our extraordinary team of public servants in the administration of justice for the residents of the District of Columbia is beyond anything that I could’ve imagined nearly 18-years ago when I began my career here at the DC Courts.  Since that time, I’ve been both blessed, and inspired to work alongside our dedicated judicial officers and staff – who daily and tirelessly embody our Courts’ values of: Accountability, Excellence, Fairness, Integrity, Respect, and Transparency in the delivery of service,” Rouson added. 

As the Executive Officer, Mr. Rouson will serve as the court administrator and manager of the daily operations for both the DC Court of Appeals and DC Superior Court. He will continue to provide information and recommendations to the Joint Committee for Judicial Administration on court policy, program evaluation, planning, and development.

“I am delighted to announce Mr. Rouson’s appointment as the Executive Officer of the District of Columbia Courts. said Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby. “With more than 18 years of experience at the D.C. Courts, Mr. Rouson demonstrates a profound understanding of our judicial system, a steadfast commitment to our court community, and a dedication to fulfilling our mission. His exemplary service reflects our values, and I extend my deepest congratulations to him.”

In his various roles across the Courts over the last 18 years, Rouson has taken the lead in several key initiatives, which include managing all aspects of juror service, ensuring that DC Superior Court aided all persons with limited English proficiency as manager of the Court’s’ Language Access Coordinator and managing the Committee on Admissions Authorized Practice of Law, which oversaw the largest unified Bar in the Country.

Mr. Rouson’s leadership and his commitment to always exploring and executing ways in which the Court can expand access to justice will go a long way in better serving those that count on us,” said DC Superior Court Chief Judge Anita Josey-Herring. 

During the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Rouson played a pivotal role in fearlessly leading the Court as the appointed chair of the Pandemic Working Group; a committee charged with designing protocols to protect the health and safety of judges, Court employees and Court users. This momentous feat included converting all Courtrooms to a remote or hybrid configuration, planning the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment and ensuring all staff had the resources needed to serve the public while working remotely – innovative adaptations that continue to ensure access to justice across the DC Courts.

It's the people, and specifically the leaders, who provide the culture and framework for how the DC Courts carry out our mission.  In my time having served as the Acting Deputy Executive Officer, I’ve witnessed that first-hand through collaboration with stakeholders throughout the organization,” said Rouson.

My Executive Team colleagues: Dr. Cheryl Bailey (Acting Executive Officer), Mr. Julio Castillo (Clerk of the DC Court of Appeals), and Ms. Zabrina Dempson (Clerk of the DC Superior Court) have been the invaluable source of wisdom, resilience, and strength needed to provide organizational leadership and direction; and I thank them for their continuing support.  But to Dr. Bailey in particular, through her 40-years of dedicated service – and even against the backdrop of having faced her own personal challenges and loss – I thank her for having made firmer the foundation, and smoother the path for us to walk in,” Rouson added before concluding, “I’m heartened by the DC Courts’ growing capacity for greatness, and am looking  forward to working and collaborating with our internal and external stakeholders in fulfilling our vision to be Open to All, Trusted by All, through providing Justice for All.”

Mr. Rouson’s trusted leadership, immense knowledge of the Courts, skilled collaboration and passion for justice has been evident throughout his career and will continue to serve him as the Courts’ new Executive Officer.

Mr. Rouson received his Juris Doctorate degree from American University’s Washington College of Law, and his Bachelor of Science from Hampton University.