Member Profile - Bilenda Harris-Ritter
Commissioner, State Board of Elections (Republican designee)
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Commissioner Bilenda Harris-Ritter is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she received a B.A. degree in Journalism. She received her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law, also in Los Angeles. She completed Post-doctoral studies in Mediation at Pepperdine University Law School in Califiornia and The Ethics Course at the Judge Advocate General School located at The University of Virginia.
Ms. Harris-Ritter practiced civil law and Crime Victim Rights law in Northern California and was certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in Workers Compensation Law until being appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as the legal advisor to the Chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) for the State of California April, 2004. She served in that capacity until July,2006 when Governor Schwarzenegger appointed her as a Commissioner on the California Board of Parole Hearings. Following her service on the Parole Board she was a spokesperson for the Crime Victims' Rights voter initiative known as Marsy's Law and served as Executive Director of California Voice for Crime Victims, Inc. and Project Director of the Crime Victim Rights Enforcement Project providing pro bono legal representation to crime victims in Northern California until August 2010. At that time she became a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Criminal Justice Department. Ms. Harris-Ritter served four years as a member of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children Board of Trustees and is a founding member of the Crime Victims Rights Assistance Association of Arkansas. She served for several years as a member of the National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA) Board of Directors and as an Arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau.
She is admitted to practice in Arkansas,California and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and Eastern District of California federal bar. She was a partner with Ritter Law in Maumelle, Arkansas for four years. She served as Assistant General Counsel for the Republican Party of Arkansas until January, 2015 when she accepted a position as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Ms. Harris-Ritter currently serves in the Arkansas Department of the Military, Office of The Adjutant General, as the State Attorney for Major General Kendall Penn.
In 2013 she received the CLE award from the Arkansas Bar Association. In 2019 she received the Arkansas Distinguished Service Medal from Lieutenant General Mark H. Berry who was The Adjutant General. In 2019 and 2020 she received the Judge Advocate General Award for Outstanding Legal Assistance. She is the 2022-2023 Chairman of the Arkansas Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section.
Ms. Harris-Ritter is President of the Arkansas Chapter of RNLA. She served as one of the three Election Commissioners for Pulaski County from January, 2017 until her appointment March 30, 2018 as the Republican Designee on the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners where she currently is in her second four-year term. Bilenda is the 2022 receipient of the Robert J. Horn Chairman's Award from RNLA for her work to ensure election integrity.
She and her husband, George Ritter, are the 2022 recipiants of the "Hi, I'm Frank White" award given annually by the Republican Party of Arkansas for service, support and commitment to advancement of the party.
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