Karl Thoennes

Karl Thoennes began his career in the courts in Alaska in 1988 at the state courts in Palmer and Anchorage. In 1998 he was appointed court administrator in Todd and then Stearns County, St. Cloud, in Minnesota’s 7th Judicial District, and now serves as administrator for the 2nd Judicial Circuit in Sioux Falls since 2004.  Together with Peter Kiefer, Karl was a regular columnist on ethics in the national publication The Court Manager, and has served as speaker or panelist on ethics and other topics at state, regional, national, and international programs including the National Association for Court Management (NACM), university and law school classes and professional associations, and is a licensed faculty member with the National Center for State Courts on Court Performance Standards for the Court Management Program offered in North and South Dakota.  His international work includes speaking at the Pacific Judicial Council Conference in Guam for a group of Pacific Island nations and territories, and a presentation at the World Ethics Forum in Oxford, England, sponsored by the World Bank and the International Institute for Public Ethics.  He is currently the primary editor for an international court ethics website, www.courtethics.org, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Court Management.   He has led various projects including the creation of a national and international cooperative directory of court videoconferencing sites as featured in State Tech magazine, and is heavily involved in court interpreter management as South Dakota’s Second Circuit has one of the highest per capita demands for court interpreters in the nation.  Karl holds a Fellowship with the Institute for Court Management, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Alaska, and completed two graduate seminars in comparative public policy and government in Sapporo, Japan as both a student and guest speaker.