Justice G. Helen Whitener on April 13, 2020 was appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court by Governor Jay Inslee. Justice Whitener is a former Pierce County Superior Court Judge, a former Judge on the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, and a former Pro-Tem Judge in Pierce County District Court as well as the City of Tacoma Municipal Court. Justice Whitener also previously worked as a Prosecuting and Defense Attorney. Justice Whitener is a faculty member at Washington Courts where she teaches new judicial officers and she also teaches a "Street Law" civics class to high school seniors at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.
In 2019, Justice Whitener was the recipient of the WA State Bar Association’s C.Z Smith ‘Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion’ Award; the King County Washington Women Lawyers President Award; the Seattle University School of Law, Woman of the Year Award, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association’s Diversity Award. In 2018, Justice Whitener received the Pierce County Washington Women Lawyer’s Woman of the Year Award.
Justice Whitener is very active locally, nationally, and internationally and speaks often on human rights, access to justice, and the rights and responsibility of the judiciary in ensuring the rights of all that appear before the court to basic dignity and respect in judicial proceedings. She is co-chair of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of LGBT Judges (IALGBTJ). Justice Whitener is also a member of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) and the American Judges Association (AJA). She also serves on the Office of Civil Legal Aid Oversight Committee (OCLA) and is a former chair and co-chair of the Washington State Superior Court Judges’ Association (SCJA) – Equity and Fairness Committee. Justice Whitener is also a member of the Washington Women Lawyers and is a judicial member of the Advisory Council for the QLaw Association of Washington. In 2016 then Judge Whitener did a TedxPOS Talk titled “Claiming your identity by understanding your self-worth” where she discussed different labels of disenfranchisement that are used to limit a person's potential https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57FMau29O_g