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Patricia Donath is the secretary/treasurer of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). She was elected to this office and her second term on the LWVUS Board of Directors and LWVEF Board of Trustees at the League’s 50th National Convention in June 2012. At the national level, Ms. Donath continues as a member of the Budget Committee as well as the Campaign Finance Task Force. She served as the chair of the 2010-12 LWVUS Streamlining Task Force.
Ms. Donath served on the League of Women Voters of Michigan state board from 1997 to 2010, including 4 years as state president (1999-2003). She first joined the state board as the Government director, and that has been one primary focus of her work in the League ever since. Her work as Special Projects director (2003-2010) included judicial independence and voting reform projects as well as being the spokesperson for LWVMI at the state legislature. In 2007, she became one of Michigan’s Membership Recruitment Initiative coordinators, in order to help carry out her commitment to grow the Michigan League.
Ms. Donath first joined the League in Basking Ridge (NJ) and joined the Lansing Area (MI) League when she moved back to Michigan. She served on the Lansing area board as Program vice president and president-elect from 1992-95 and as president from 1995-97.
Ms. Donath was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Humanities. She attended Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, obtaining a J.D. in 1968. She has lived in Washington, DC, Alabama and New Jersey, where she worked for the state legislature as the sole staff person for the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees—working for both Republicans and Democrats as part of the non-partisan Legislative Services Bureau. Upon moving back to Michigan, Ms. Donath worked for the state legislature in several capacities and served as a member of the Ingham County Board of Canvassers from 1986-94 and the Ingham County Republican Party Executive Committee from 1978-94.
Ms. Donath was asked to serve on the Michigan Judicial Selection Task Force by co-chairs MI Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelley and Federal District Court Judge James Ryan. The Task Force reported its recommendations in April, 2012.
Ms. Donath is currently a member of the Capitol Area United Way Public Policy and Community Investment Committees and has served on a grant team for a number of years. She is a board member of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network and has worked with both Justice at Stake and the Midwest Democracy Network on issues and projects. Ms. Donath is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. She is a member of Pilgrim Congregational UCC and currently serves as the church Vitality Team leader; she also sings in the choir and plays hand bells.
Ms. Donath has one son, Gregory, and a passport with stamps that have been growing in number.