Allyson K. Duncan was sworn into office as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on August 15, 2003, after being nominated by President George W. Bush on April 28 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on July 17.
Judge Duncan received bipartisan support for and rapid consideration of her nomination to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2003. Senator John Edwards said of her on the chamber floor, “This is a woman of extraordinary intellect and skill, who loves the law, strives for justice, and never allows politics to interfere with her commitment to equality.”
Judge Duncan’s career has been marked for its series of “firsts.” She is the first African American woman and the first woman from North Carolina to sit on the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She was the first African American woman to serve on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. She was the first African American to serve as President of the North Carolina Bar Association, and only the third woman to do so.
Judge Duncan is active within the judiciary, her profession, and the community. Chief Justice John Roberts appointed her to chair the International Judicial Relations Committee of the United States Judicial Conference, which coordinates the international requests from other countries for judicial assistance. She serves as President of the Federal Judges Association, and in that role as a member of the International Association of Judges. She is a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees, serving as Chair of the Academic Affairs committee, and is on the Board of the Carolina Ballet.
A graduate of Hampton University and Duke University School of Law, she is married to former U.S. Magistrate Judge William A. Webb and they live in Raleigh, North Carolina.