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A Utah native who directs the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts was selected by Brigham Young University Institute of Public Management faculty to receive the 1992 Administrator of the Year Award.

L. Ralph Mecham accepted the award at a banquet in his honor Feb. 27 at BYU."We (the Institute of Public Management) selected Mecham for this award for two reasons: his high ethical standards and his long career in developing many areas in government," said N. Dale Wright, the institute's director.

Mecham serves on the board of the Federal Judicial Center. He is an ex officio member of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He is also a liaison for the Administrative Conference of the United States. In 1991, he was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administrators.

After more than 13 years in Washington, Mecham returned to Utah for four years. He was a vice president at the University of Utah and dean of continuing education programs. He also founded the University of Utah Research Park.

Returning to Washington, Mecham was special assistant to the secretary of commerce for regional economic coordination. He was also co-chair of the Four Corners Regional Economic Development Commission, which is a presidential appointment requiring Senate confirmation. Mecham also served as vice president of The Anaconda Co.

Mecham earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Utah and his juris-doctorate degree at George Washington University. He received a master's in public administration from Harvard. He was awarded a congressional fellowship to Harvard in 1963 and a graduate fellowship by Harvard in 1965.