Lori Valburn

Lori Valburn
Lori Valburn

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

Family court magistrate; 2002 Vermont Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year; Chief of VTrans Office of Civil Rights and Labor Compliance

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Primary Residence






Historical Significance

Lori Valburn has been a trial attorney for the Vermont Office of Child Support Services, and acting director of the Vermont Office of the Public Guardian. In 1990, Governor Madeleine Kunin appointed Valburn as one of four new Family Court magistrates. The Vermont Family Court was created by the legislature in order to consolidate and speed the 40% of Vermont court cases that pertain to family matters, including divorce, custody, domestic violence, child support, juvenile crime, and mental health issues. As a magistrate, Valburn rode circuit between several of the courts in Vermont's 14 counties, and hearing mainly child support cases.

Vermont's first woman-led administration was a unique group, with a large number of woman appointees, many of who were the first women to hold their positions. In 1986, 5 of 8 people in Kunin's inner staff were women, she had appointed women to 15 of 33 agency and department head positions, and to 169 of the 433 positions on commissions and boards. Many state boards, including the Vermont Industrial Development Authority, Labor Relations Board, the Veteran's Home in Bennington, Transportation Board, and Judicial Nominating Board, were all male until the Kunin administration. The Governor's Commission on the Status of Women under Madeleine Kunin, whose goal was to find and appoint more women to boards and committees, succeeded in significantly increasing the representation of women in state government positions. In 1969, only 14% of board and commission appointees were women, in 1979, there were 22%, and in the Kunin administration in 1986, 39% of appointees were women.

Since 1997, Valburn has served as Chief of the Vermont Agency of Transportation's Office of Civil Rights and Labor Compliance, which is committed to providing a diverse range of training, employment, and contracting opportunities for women and people of color in non-traditional occupations. In 2002, she was named Vermont's Minority Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Association. She is also the recipient of the Federal Highway Administration's 2006 Sharlene Nail Meritorius Service Award, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation's 2007 Manager of the Year Award. At VTrans, Valburn administers programs that encourage and create workplace diversity, promote social justice, and assist minority and women-owned businesses in Vermont. She currently serves on the Vermont Women's Business Center's Advisory Council, the Planning Committee for Senator Leahy's Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference, and the Governor's Workforce Equity and Diversity Council, of which she was co-chair from 2002 - 2006. She has also been involved in the Prescription Laughter Theater Company and the South Burlington Community Chorus. She lives in Essex with her husband, John, and their Weimeraner, Cooper.

Organizations or Movements

  • Kunin administration
  • Vermont Family Court
  • Vermont Office of Child Support Services
  • Vermont Office of the Public Guardian
  • Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans)
  • Governor's Workforce Equity and Diversity Council
  • Vermont Women's Business Center Advisory Council
  • Olmstead Advisory Commission


  • Family court magistrate
  • Trial attorney for the Office of Child Support Services
  • acting director of the State Office of the Public Guardian
  • business consultant
  • Chief of the Vermont Transportation Agency's Office of Civil Rights and Labor Compliance


  • Juris Doctorate, 1980, Loyola University School of Law
  • BA, 1975, Beloit College

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • "Magistrates appointed to Family Court," Burlington Free Press, 9/13/1990, 1B:2.

  • "Vermont Family Court opens for business," Burlington Free Press, 10/2/1990, 1A:2

  • Lori Valburn Chosen SBA's Minority Advocate of the Year, Link