State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle
Shortly after concluding her legal studies in England at the University of Cambridge, Katherine Fernandez Rundle became a prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. After several promotions through the different divisions within the office, she became legal counsel to the Dade County Grand Jury, serving longer than any other previous counsel. When appointed to serve in 1993, Ms. Fernandez Rundle became the first female Hispanic State Attorney in the State of Florida. She was subsequently elected to the office five times.
She also served as the first and only Hispanic female on the State Constitutional Revision Council. Ms. Fernandez Rundle’s passion and interest in public service is in large part due to the inspiration of her father, Dr. Carlos Benito Fernandez, Miami’s first Hispanic Judge and a founder of the Cuban American Bar Association; the largest Hispanic legal organization of which Ms. Fernandez Rundle was elected president in 1993.
Ms. Fernandez Rundle prides herself on being a determined crime fighter and victims’ rights advocate. She has dedicated herself to every cause imaginable in her relentless commitment to keep our streets safe. Ms. Fernandez Rundle is recognized as a pioneer in the creation of numerous programs dealing with issues such as teen truancy, domestic violence, child support, and victim’s rights. Also recognized nationally, she was elected last year to the Board of the National District Attorneys Association, the nation’s largest and most influential prosecutor’s organization. She prides herself with her office attaining the highest percentage of convictions in cases involving public corruption in the State of Florida. Under State Attorney Fernandez Rundle’s leadership, our community has achieved some of the lowest crime rates over the last 20 years.
Throughout her career, Ms. Fernandez Rundle has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Florida Bar Association, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Cuban American Bar Association, Florida Foster Care Review Project, Inc., the Children’s Services Council, Collins Center for Public Policy, Women of Tomorrow Inc., and the National Conference for Community and Justice, to name a few.
The State Attorney has been the recipient of countless honors and awards for her dedication to social justice, public policy and improving the lives of women and children. She was awarded the Dade County Bar Association’s prestigious Robert L. Shevin Award and has been honored by MADD, The Florida Network of Victim Witness Services, Seniors are First, and the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA) and numerous other organizations for her many achievements on behalf of her community. She has delivered countless speeches and published numerous articles on mentoring at-risk girls, closing loopholes in the firearms laws and ending domestic violence.
As the county’s top law enforcement officer, State Attorney Fernandez Rundle has the responsibility of bringing to justice those individuals who violate the law in Miami-Dade County. The State Attorney’s Office serves as the legal arm of the 37 different police departments in our community. The office’s mission is to see that the guilty are convicted while the rights of the innocent are protected, and the office prides itself in being the voice for every victim that is wronged by crime. State Attorney Fernandez Rundle presides over the fourth largest district attorney’s office in the nation with over 1,400 employees, over 300 of them prosecutors also known as Assistant State Attorneys.
In addition to seeing that justice is carried out, her office is the only prosecutor’s office in the state that protects the rights of children with the creation and enforcement of a strict child support program that annually processes over 80,000 cases. Other innovative programs to help prevent crime and provide rehabilitative opportunities that have been established under the direction of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle include the nation’s first Drug Court, the Juvenile Gun Offenders Program, and the Second Chance Sealing and Expungement workshops.