A former juvenile court judge, Karen B. Baynes-Dunning has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life for disadvantaged children, youth and families. Over the past 25 years, she has served in numerous leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors to help improve the public policies and services that affect the lives of vulnerable children.
Since 2013, Baynes-Dunning has served as the federal court-appointed monitor overseeing reform efforts at the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services. She is president of Baynes-Dunning Consulting LLC of Albany, Georgia.
After receiving a Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, she practiced antitrust litigation in the law firm Alston & Bird. She then became the first executive director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program and director of program development and management for the Fulton County Juvenile Court in Atlanta, Georgia. She was appointed to the juvenile court bench in Fulton County in 1998 and served until 2002.
She has also served as associate director for governmental services and research at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government; as a visiting professor at the Emory University School of Law; and as an associate professor at the University of Alabama. She received a bachelor’s degree in politics from Wake Forest University.