Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Meetings – Save the Dates

October 10, 2023, 10:30-12:00 (Conference Suite, John Adams Courthouse, Boston)

February 13, 2024, 12:00-1:30 (Virtual (Zoom))

May 20, 2024, 11:00-12:30 (In-person – location TBD)


Massachusetts Trial Court Appoints Chief Officer of New Access, Diversity, and Fairness Office

The Commission is pleased to share the below announcement from the Executive Office of the Trial Court. We look forward to collaborating with Dr. Scruggs in this exciting new role.


“BOSTON, MA — Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Locke and Trial Court Administrator Thomas Ambrosino today announced the appointment of Natoschia Scruggs, Ph.D., as Chief Access, Diversity, and Fairness Officer (CADFO), effective August 14, 2023.


Dr. Scruggs, who has more than two decades of experience developing and overseeing strategic plans, projects, and initiatives to promote equitable and inclusive cultures, will oversee the court’s policies and practices related to access and fairness, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most recently, Dr. Scruggs served as Assistant Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Marymount University in Virginia, where she developed and implemented a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) strategic plan.


“This is a new senior position that reflects the Trial Court’s commitment to its core values and mission to deliver justice with dignity and fairness to all,” said Chief Justice Jeffrey Locke and Court Administrator Thomas Ambrosino. “In this role, Dr. Scruggs will ensure consistency and collaboration among the Trial Court’s many diversity, access, and fairness initiatives. Her significant DEI leadership and experience make her ideally qualified for this position to help us build a more robust culture of inclusion and equity for court staff and users alike.”


“It is truly an honor to assume the CADFO position at this crucial time in Massachusetts and our nation as a whole,” said Dr. Scruggs. “Anyone who has worked in this field knows that DEI is not ‘one-size-fits-all. ’While I am excited to bring all that I have learned along my journey working to advance DEI in different spaces with me, I pledge to work diligently with my colleagues at the Trial Court to forge policies and practices that meet the needs of the state.”


Departments and offices that will report to the CADFO include the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office for Language Access, Office of Court Services, Office of Access to Justice and the User Experience, and the Office of Alternative and Online Dispute Resolution.


Before joining Marymount University, Dr. Scruggs held a variety of teaching and leadership roles rooted in promoting DEI at other academic institutions, nonprofits, and within government, including having served as principal advisor on research to three U.S. ambassadors at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York. She also worked with MIT, Harvard, and the City of Boston. Dr. Scruggs has extensive experience working with conflict-affected populations, refugees, asylees, and survivors of gender-based violence and has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters addressing family violence, elder abuse, sexual exploitation, displacement, and state violence.


Dr. Scruggs has a Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and was a Ford Foundation Fellow, Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, and American Field Service high school foreign exchange student.


Along with the Chief Justice and Court Administrator, the selection committee included Supreme Judicial Court Justice Serge Georges, Jr., co-chair of the Access to Justice Commission, and District Court Chief Justice Stacey Fortes.”


Trial Court Appoints Chief Officer of New Access, Diversity, and Fairness Office |


Hope you are all enjoying the summer and look I forward to seeing you in the Fall.




Carolyn Goodwin
Director, Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
617-391-5659 |
Pronouns: she/her/hers