Judge Morgan Christen was appointed to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in January of 2012. She currently serves on the Ninth Circuit’s Judicial Council, the Ninth Circuit’s Executive Committee, the Circuit Conference Executive Committee, the Public Information Community Outreach Committee, and the Pacific Island Committee. She chairs the Court Council Committee on Bankruptcy Appointments, as well as the Cameras in the Courtroom Committee. In October 2019, Judge Christen began a three-year termon the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction. Judge Christen currently serves on the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society Advisory Board. She chaired the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for District 14 from 2017 to 2020.
Prior to her appointment to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Christen served as a justice on the Alaska Supreme Court. Judge Christen was born and raised in Washington, and attended college in England, Switzerland, and the People’s Republic of China. She earned a B.A. degree from the University of Washington in International Studies and a J.D. degree from Golden Gate University School of Law. After law school, Judge Christen clerked for Judge Brian Shortell, and then joined Preston Gates & Ellis where she practiced civil litigation. Judge Christen was appointed to the Alaska Superior Court in 2001 and served as Presiding Judge of Alaska’s Third Judicial District from 2005-2009.
Judge Christen was awarded the Light of Hope Award for work on behalf of Alaska’s children and she and her husband, Jim Torgerson, were named Philanthropists of the Year in 2004. Judge Christen is a past recipient of the Alaska Supreme Court’s Community Outreach Award, the Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, and she is a YWCA Woman of Achievement. Judge Christen and her husband live in Anchorage. They have one daughter.