Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient
Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Law School, November 15, 2010
John R. Tunheim, who is described as a vital, visionary judicial leader, whose exceptional contributions have advanced state, national and international constitutional law, graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School cum laude in 1980. Currently, he is a U.S. District Judge who was recommended by Senator Paul Wellstone and nominated by President William Clinton. When confirmed by the United States Senate in 1995, he became one of seven district court judges in the District of Minnesota. Judge Tunheim has held several high offices with distinction including ten years in the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General as Chief Deputy Attorney General and Minnesota Solicitor General. He also has distinguished himself by his remarkable public service. He has been a dedicated and committed leader in the American Bar Association (ABA) and was one of the Founders and Chair of the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division of the ABA. Presently, he represents that Division in the ABA's House of Delegates, and is a member of the ABA's Nominating Committee for the highest offices in the Association. His leadership in critically important rule of law work spans the globe. He has travelled to numerous countries around the world including Kosovo, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Russia, Montenegro, Jordan, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Lithuania and Bulgaria, to assist in the drafting of Constitutions for new democracies, training judges, and reforming criminal laws. His nominators wrote "Judge Tunheim's influence is international in scope and has established a lasting legacy of fairness and the provision of human and civil rights around the globe." In addition, Judge Tunheim has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota Law School and he has served on the Humphrey Institute's Advisory Council.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.