Chief Judge Donna S. Stroud was born in Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina in 1964. She has been married to J. Wilson Stroud since 1986, and they have two adult sons. Judge Stroud is a member of The Shepherd’s Church in Cary, North Carolina.
Educational BackgroundChief Judge Stroud received her Juris Doctor cum laude from the Campbell University School of Law in 1988. In law school, she ranked first in class for each year of law school and upon graduation. She worked as a Research Assistant for Dean F. Leary Davis and Professor Thomas Anderson. She also was a candidate member of the Campbell University Law Review and served as Notes and Comments Editor and a case summary writer for the Campbell Law Observer. She received the Branch Banking and Trust Estate Planning Award.
In May 2014, she graduated from the Duke University School of Law LL.M. program in Judicial Studies as a member of its charter class. Her thesis from this program has been published in the Campbell Law Review, The Bottom of the Iceberg: Unpublished Opinions, 37 Campbell L. Rev. 333 (2015).
Chief Judge Stroud graduated from Campbell University, summa cum laude, with a BA in Government in 1985. She graduated from Kinston High School in 1982.
ExperienceChief Judge Donna S. Stroud was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in November 2006 and re-elected without opposition in 2014. She was appointed as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals effective January 1, 2021.
Before her service as a judge, Chief Judge Stroud was in private practice of law from 1988 until 2004, when she was elected as a District Court Judge in Wake County. While in private practice, Chief Judge Stroud was also a certified Superior Court mediator and a District Court arbitrator. Chief Judge Stroud served as a Family Court Judge while on the District Court.
Chief Judge Stroud has been teaching as an Adjunct Professor at Campbell University School of Law since 2008, teaching Judicial Process and Juvenile Law.
Judge Stroud was admitted to the North Carolina bar on September 16, 1988, and to the bar of the United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina in 1991.
Professional OrganizationsOver the years, Chief Judge Stroud has been a member of many professional organizations. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and currently serves on the Appellate Rules Committee and Women in the Profession Committee. Judge Stroud has done many presentations at educational programs for the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, and other legal organizations as well as continuing judicial education programs for District Court Judges and Superior Court judges. She is currently a member of the Judicial Division of American Bar Association. She is a member of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys and has served as Chair of the Judicial Division. She is also a member of the Craven Everett Inn of Court, the Wake County Bar Association, and the 10th Judicial District Bar Association.
Boards and CommissionsChief Judge Stroud serves as Chair of the Chief Justice’s Rules Advisory Commission. She also serves on the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the Family Court Advisory Commission, and the North Carolina Courts Commission. She served as an ex officio member of the Dispute Resolution Committee and Mediation Coordinator for the Court of Appeals. In 2015, she was appointed by Governor Pat McCrory to the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use.
Honors and AwardsWake Woman of the Year, Wake Women Attorneys Association, 2017.
Campbell University Distinguished Campbell University Association Distinguished Alumna, 2016
Campbell University Distinguished Alumna, History, Criminal Justice, and Political Science Department, 2015
General Federation of Women’s Club of N.C., Women of Achievement Award, 2014
Community ActivitiesOver the years Judge Stroud has been active in many community and civic activities, including: Sir Walter Cabinet; Wendell Chamber of Commerce, President, 1994; Wendell Chamber of Commerce, Director, 1990-1993; Zebulon Junior Woman’s Club, 1995-2001; President, Zebulon Junior Woman’s Club, 2000-2001; Zebulon Woman’s Club, 2002-2004; Zebulon Baptist Church - Sunday School teacher, administrative deacon, trustee, Sanctuary Choir, handbell choir; and Zebulon Parks and Recreation Youth Sports Sponsor.