Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday his appointment of Mario White as Dane County Circuit Court judge. The appointment fills a vacancy created by Judge William Hanrahan’s resignation.

“As the last week has shown, we need top-to-bottom change in our criminal justice system to address its systemic racism,” said Gov. Evers in a statement. “One of the ways we can do this is ensuring we have judges who understand and reflect the communities they serve. As a former teacher and highly accomplished public defender, Mario White will do just that.”

White is currently a Dane County Court Commissioner, where he handles family, criminal, and other proceedings, according to a press release. Between 2008 and 2018, White was an assistant state public defender, representing individuals accused of crimes in Dane County. White also is an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he teaches courses on trial advocacy and coaches mock trial.

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed to the Dane County bench by Governor Evers. The need for a compassionate, impartial, and independent judiciary has never been greater. I look forward to bringing my perspective and experiences to the bench to ensure equal justice for all,” said White in a statement.

White graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2008 and earned his undergraduate degree from the Oklahoma State University. Prior to law school, White was a high school math teacher for three years in Dallas, Texas.