SEARCH Member Robert Wessels Honored With Warren E. Burger Award

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Robert Wessels
SEARCH is proud to acknowledge that longtime At-Large Member Mr. Robert Wessels has been selected to receive the 2011 Warren E. Burger Award, an honor bestowed by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). Named for the former Chief Justice of the United States, the Burger Award is one of NCSC's highest awards and recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions in the field of court administration and who has contributed to NCSC's mission. Read the full announcement here.

Mr. Wessels has spent his entire career in court management, working mostly for the Harris County, Texas courts. He currently is the Vice Chair of the Judicial Committee on Information Technology for the State of Texas.

Given his many accomplishments and his leadership qualities, it is easy to see why Mr. Wessels was chosen for this prestigious award. "Bob has been an important part of the SEARCH family since 2001. In that time, he has served the Membership Group well, offering us his insight and knowledge, both on court-related matters and organizational governance," said SEARCH Executive Director Ron Hawley. "Bob has long been an advocate of court automation and information sharing and his many contributions show in his impressive body of work."

In addition to serving on the SEARCH Board of Directors, Mr. Wessels has served on numerous SEARCH committees and task forces, including:
  • The National Task Force on Disposition Reporting
  • The National Task Force on Federal Legislation Affecting State Criminal Justice Information
  • The National Task Force on Federal Legislation Imposing Reporting Requirements and Expectations on the Criminal Justice System

Mr. Wessels also chaired the National Task Force on Court Automation and Integration, which was formed in connection with the Court Information Systems Technical Assistance Project, a joint effort of SEARCH and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. Other project participants included the National Center for State Courts, the National Association for Court Management, and the Conference of State Court Administrators. Under his leadership, this task force, which was established in 1997, worked to develop a strategic blueprint to guide court agencies through the process of integration.