Sara L. Darrow was named Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois on Tuesday.

Darrow is the first woman to serve as chief judge in the Central District of Illinois. In addition to her judicial duties, the Chief Judge is responsible for the administrative activities of the District and to ensure the District operates in compliance with the law and with Judicial Conference and Circuit Judicial Council policies.

Chief Judge Darrow’s predecessor, James Shadid, completed his seven-year term as Chief Judge
on Monday and remains in active service on the court.

“I appreciated, as the Chief Judge, the mentorship of the Senior Judges, as well as the assistance and confidence of my colleagues, and the professionalism displayed by all who make up the court system in the Central District,” Shadid said. “Judge Darrow is an exceptional judge and a leader among her colleagues. She has served this District with distinction as an Assistant United States Attorney and Judge. I am confident the District will thrive under her leadership.”

Darrow has served as a district court judge in the Rock Island Division of the Central District of Illinois since 2011. She was nominated by President Barack Obama on the recommendation of Senator Dick Durbin.

Prior to her appointment, Darrow worked at the United States Attorney’s Office in Rock Island, Illinois, for eight years where she prosecuted federal crimes involving firearms, drugs, gangs, fraud, money laundering, and corruption.

Darrow received her undergraduate degree from Marquette University and her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois serves 46 counties in Illinois. The court hears cases in Peoria, Urbana, Springfield and Rock Island.