An organ donor whose gift of life inspired a career in national transplant operations and beyond. A Fort Wayne native who rose to the C-Suite of some of the country’s top medical device and health technology companies. A leading business leader who has used her legal skills to help large, complex companies mitigate risks at home and abroad. And a young alumnus who has already made his mark in his native Michigan, where he advises one of the nation’s most recognizable governors.
The four recipients of the 2023 Maurer School of Law’s Distinguished Service Awards—Macey Leigh Levan ’11, Dave Milne ’94, Kim Richardson ’06, and Alex Thibodeau ’18—have set a remarkable standard for success in their careers and communities.
They were honored Friday (Sept. 29) in a standing-room only ceremony in the DeLaney Moot Court Room.
“These awards honor graduates of the Law School who have distinguished themselves and served their communities and our school in ways that far exceed traditional business, professional, and civic duties, of which there are many,” said Dean Christiana Ochoa. Ochoa said the awards were timely given the Law School’s recent designation as the #3 school for public service in government by preLaw magazine.
“We’re just getting started when it comes to public interest law and public service,” she said. “We are going to put ourselves on the map.”
This year’s DSA recipients are:
Macey Leigh Levan. A 2011 graduate of the Law School, Levan earned a PhD in Health Policy and Management and International Research Ethics in 2016 from the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health. She is currently an associate professor of surgery and population health at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and the director of the Center for Surgical and Transplant Applied Research Qualitative Core at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute. Her team’s work to operationalize vaccination trials for the immunocompromised during the COVID-19 pandemic was applauded and recognized by Dr. Anthony Fauci. She served a three-year term as director of the national transplant system—the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network—under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, work inspired by the donation of her own kidney to a cousin in need. Levan’s award was accepted on her behalf by her father, Milt Thompson ’79, who earned the Law School’s inaugural Distinguished Service Award in 1997.
Dave Milne began his legal career at Bose McKinney & Evans and then practiced for several years at Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary before joining Steak n Shake, Inc., where he became Vice President and General Counsel. In 2009, Milne joined Symmetry Medical, Inc., where he worked as general counsel, senior vice president of human resources and chief compliance officer. Following Symmetry Medical’s sale, he remained with a former division, Symmetry Surgical Inc., as general counsel and senior vice president of Business Development. After Symmetry Surgical’s sale in 2022, Milne joined Natus Medical, Inc., an ArchiMed Portfolio Company, as chief HR officer and chief administrative officer. Milne and his wife Meagan are longtime supporters of the Dean Fromm Memorial Fund, the Law School’s Fund for Excellence, and IU Athletics. He has served the school as an adjunct professor and on its Alumni Board.
Kim Richardson is a strategic business leader and forward-thinking health, safety, and security attorney. She currently serves as of counsel at Conn Maciel Carey in Washington, DC., as an adjunct professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and as a consultant for the Wilmington University School of Law in Delaware. Previously, Richardson worked in-house at Amazon Web Services and DuPont, and in the federal government. She serves on the Law School’s Alumni Board, the Advisory Board for the Delaware Chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness, and the Board of Directors for the Delaware Chapter of the National Audobon Society. She previously served as a member of the Legal Steering Committee for the National Safety Council. In 2008, The Network Journal named her one of the nation’s top 40 Under Forty African-Americans, and in 2012, she received the United States Postmaster General’s D.R.I.V.E Award (Delivering Results, Innovation, Value, and Efficiency).
Alex Thibodeau. Just five years out of law school, Thibodeau was appointed director of appointments in the administration of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In that capacity he serves as senior advisor for gubernatorial appointments to the judiciary and cabinet, as well as the more than 240 state boards and commissions. Prior to this, he was an associate attorney at Varnum LLP, where he focused primarily on data privacy and cybersecurity, as well as advising autonomous vehicle companies on compliance issues related to emerging technology. His background includes significant experience in civil litigation, telecommunication, municipal/administrative law, utility franchise agreements, and regulatory compliance. Thibodeau is passionate about being a leader within the community. He currently serves as a trustee to the Grand Rapids Bar Association—where he is chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and former president of the Young Lawyers Section. Thibodeau also sits on the Advisory Council of the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Outside of the legal field, Thibodeau sits on the Board of Trustees for the Grand Rapids Art Museum and routinely volunteers with other non-profit entities in West Michigan. During his time in Law School, he served as president of the Student Bar Association and on the editorial board for the Indiana Journal of Constitutional Design and as notes editor for the Indiana Journal of Social Equality.