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Colorado Supreme Court Grows Diversity and Outreach Initiatives with New Staff Appointments

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Denver, CO- The Colorado Supreme Court has selected Nga Vu'o'ng-Sandoval as the head of the Judicial Officer Outreach Program for the Colorado Judicial Branch. The Court also welcomed Manuel Banks as the Manager of Culture and Leadership. 

“We are delighted to welcome Nga as our newest Judicial Officer Outreach Program Lead, dedicated to advancing bench diversity and outreach efforts,” said Justice Monica M. Márquez. “Nga's exceptional background and unwavering commitment to advocating for marginalized communities will enrich this crucial initiative and the overall mission of the Judicial Branch.” 

The position was created by the Colorado Legislature in 2019 and is housed within the State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO). Nga will be responsible for education and outreach regarding judicial officer vacancies, assisting with diversity issues in the judicial pipeline. The role will develop and deliver educational programming for attorneys and law students regarding judicial vacancies and the application process. Nga will also continue many on-the-bench diversity programs and committees already under way. 

"Coming from a challenging journey and modest origins as a Vietnamese refugee, I am deeply honored to serve in this impactful role. I commend Colorado, the Judicial Department, the Colorado Supreme Court, judicial officers, and state legislators who trailblazed this groundbreaking initiative, the first of its kind in the U.S.," Nga said. "Strengthening our judiciary to mirror and support diverse communities is essential. I am dedicated to furthering Colorado's commitment of serving our diverse populations." 
 
Nga holds a master’s in criminal justice and a bachelor's in political science from the University of Colorado Denver. With a professional background that spans humanitarian protection and immigration policy, diversity and inclusion advisory roles, homeland security, judicial and regulatory investigations, compliance, adjunct faculty member work in higher education, and managing the first initiative in the U.S. that places individuals with direct lived experience in forced displacement in global decision-making roles, Nga is a powerhouse of experience and dedication. 

As a Vietnamese refugee and human rights and social justice advocate committed to transformative change, Nga uplifts the experiences and expertise of underrepresented communities. Her work has included serving as a Refugee Representative at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Manuel Banks recently joined the Judicial Branch as the new Manager of Culture and  Leadership. In this crucial role, Manuel will lead the efforts to foster an enriching, inclusive culture and develop leadership throughout the organization.  Manuel’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and community engagement mirrors the organization’s mission, vision, and values, making him an excellent addition to these essential initiatives of the Branch. 

“Manuel joining the Colorado Judicial Branch marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering a culture of excellence,” said Justice Monica M. Márquez.  “With his wealth of experience and dedication to cultivating positive workplace environments, we are confident in his ability to lead us towards greater cohesion, inclusivity, and effectiveness in serving our community." 

“I am excited about this opportunity to work within the Colorado Judicial Branch.  My role will be instrumental in leading inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) initiatives that will foster a positive workplace culture and allow employees to bring their authentic selves to work each day,” said Manuel. 

Manuel holds a master’s in business administration from the University of Denver and a master’s in education—sports and leisure commerce from the University of Memphis. He also holds a bachelor’s in mass communications from Louisiana State University. His professional work experience includes time spent in the following areas: diversity and inclusion, human resources, organizational leadership development, employee lifecycle management, conflict management, Equal Employment Opportunity compliance, and community relations. 

Manuel is committed to creating a culture that enriches the lives of every employee. Manuel is a member of the Colorado DEI Consortium and Diversity in Aquatics. He is also a board member of the Swim Strong Foundation and a member of the Limon, CO, Business Education Advisory Committee.  

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The Colorado Judicial Branch works to provide equal access to justice, contribute to public safety, and strengthen the rule of law across Colorado. Together, our courts and probation departments are committed to impartial and timely dispute resolution, support for families, litigants, and victims, client rehabilitation, and meaningful community engagement. 

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