Derek Mosley, who has served as a judge of the Milwaukee Municipal Court since 2002, will become director of Marquette University Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, beginning on Jan. 9.
Marquette President Michael R. Lovell announced Mosley's hiring on Tuesday morning. Mosley leave the bench Dec. 31.
“The Marquette community is blessed to welcome Derek Mosley back to campus as the director of the Lubar Center. Our students and community will benefit greatly from Derek’s breadth of knowledge, keen understanding of social dynamics and extensive nonprofit experience,” Lovell said in a statement.
“The Lubar Center serves as an important hub of public discourse in Milwaukee, and Derek’s deep connections and love for our city will help further the center’s mission in profound ways.”
Mosley graduated from Marquette Law School in 1995 and served as an assistant district attorney for Milwaukee County before being appointed as a Municipal Court judge.
Lovell said that as the leader of the school's Lubar Center, Mosley will hold public events and work with his law school colleagues, "to develop robust programming that will fulfill and expand the law school’s role as a public square for timely and important public policy discussions."
In addition to conducting the Marquette Law School Poll and other research, the Lubar Center also hosts public forums, conferences and other events, including the popular "On the Issues" series.
“I am thrilled to be coming home to Marquette to serve the public good in new and valuable ways as director of the Lubar Center,” Mosley said in the Tuesday statement.
“It has been my great honor to have served the people of Milwaukee for more than 27 years, first as a prosecutor and then a presiding judge. I now look forward to the unique and exciting challenge of helping to advance public understanding of and discourse around matters of law and public policy through the city’s preeminent public forum.”
The role was held until earlier this year by Mike Gousha.
“The law school has been engaged with the broader public since its founding, but our outreach and engagement took on new forms and importance in 2007, with the appointment of Mike Gousha as distinguished fellow in law and public policy, and in 2017, with the establishment of the Lubar Center,” said Joseph D. Kearney, dean and professor of law, in the statement.
“With Mike’s stepping back from full-time duties earlier this year, we searched for an individual of inquiry and integrity to continue and expand our work, as director of the center. His background and relationships in Milwaukee help make Judge Mosley uniquely qualified for this role, and I am grateful for his confidence and enthusiasm about his new role.”
When Mosley was appointed to the bench, he was the youngest African American to be appointed judge in the state. Two years later, he was first appointed Presiding Judge of the Milwaukee Municipal Court.
Mosley – a devout foodie who has served as a James Beard Award judge – is a beloved and respected Milwaukeean and local celebrity with a powerful presence on social media, which he gives over to sharing African American history every February.
Mosley is active on numerous local boards, too, including at Froedtert Hospital, the Urban Ecology Center, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Safe and Sound, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, the United Way Diversity Leadership Committee, and TransCenter for Youth. He is also a member of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s Judicial Education Committee.
“Since its inception, the Lubar Center has sought to be a public resource for this region, a home for important conversations, new ideas, and independent polling and research,” said Mike Gousha, who is currently a senior advisor in law and public policy at Marquette Law School.
“As a respected voice and innovative thinker on law and public policy matters, Judge Mosley is a terrific choice to build on the Lubar Center’s previous work and expand its reach in the years ahead.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.