JONESBORO — Clayton County Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker has announced she is leaving office in the middle of her third term to take a position as president and CEO of the largest nonprofit domestic violence organization in Georgia.
Walker first won office in 2004 as Clayton County’s first black chief magistrate judge. She subsequently ran unopposed in 2008 and 2012. Her term will expire in 2016. Walker said she alerted Gov. Nathan Deal to her resignation Monday but has no information on who her replacement will be. Her last day is Sept. 6.
Walker said she looks forward to taking the leadership role in an organization she believes in and supports.
“I am excited that I will now be able to devote myself full-time to pursuing my passion,” she said. “I am humbled by the confidence the board of directors has placed in me to assume this position. I look forward to working with the leadership team and our employees to fulfill our mission of providing services and programs to victims of intimate partner violence and empowering them to overcome their circumstances and make a difference in this world.”
Walker will ascend to the position as leader of Partnership Against Domestic Violence Sept. 9, officials said.
Walker is a graduate of Spelman College and Emory University School of Law and has served her community through advocacy and the provision of services for victims of intimate partner violence throughout her 15-year legal career as an attorney and judge.
“We are extremely proud to have Judge Walker leading PADV into the future,” said PADV Board Chairman Marcus Delgado. “She brings tremendous experience with intimate partner violence issues, along with compassion and strength to an already strong organization. We look forward to a long future with her at our helm.”
Walker was the first black assistant district attorney of the Houston Judicial Circuit and the first black judge elected in Clayton County, breaking barriers to make history.
In August 2002, Walker established her own law practice, The Walker Law Group P.C., where she advocated for the rights of domestic violence victims by providing pro bono legal services in divorce actions, child custody, child support and legitimation matters.
Walker became acquainted with PADV by referring clients to the organization as a resource to help victims and their children. After winning her election in 2004, Walker was re-elected as chief magistrate judge of Clayton County in 2008 and 2012 without opposition.
“I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to serve as the next president and chief executive officer of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence,” said Walker. “Since I began practicing law, I have always been a tireless advocate for those impacted by intimate partner violence and have devoted some aspect of my career to working to end intimate partner violence.”
As a judge, Walker was awarded the Gender in Justice Award in 2007 by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence for her efforts regarding the issue of intimate partner violence.
While chair of the Judicial Council Task Force on Domestic Violence Courts, Walker was instrumental in getting federal funding to develop training curriculum for judges, and to create standards and practices for Georgia’s domestic courts.
She also has served on the board of directors for several nonprofit groups including the Girl Scouts of Pine Valley Council, the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Inc. and Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta.
In 2007, Walker was named Clayton County Business Woman of the Year by the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, in 2011, she was featured on the cover of Georgia Trend as a Georgia’s Best and Brightest “40 Under 40” recipients.