Cathy R. Silak was promoted to Vice President of Community Engagement in July, 2016, after serving as the Founding Dean of Concordia University School of Law. She was selected to serve as the Founding Dean in December, 2008. The school opened its doors in Fall, 2012 to its 1L inaugural class. Under her leadership, she oversaw the Dean’s Advisory Council, helped in the site selection, development of the curriculum and was instrumental in faculty and student recruitment. Vice President Silak taught Civil Procedure II in Spring, 2013.
An attorney by profession, Vice President Silak served as an Idaho Supreme Court Justice from 1993 until 2000, and was Vice-Chief Justice from 1997 to 2000. Prior to her appointment by the Governor to the Supreme Court, Vice President Silak was the first woman appointed to an appellate court in Idaho’s history, serving as a Judge of the Idaho Court of Appeals from 1990 to 1993.
In addition, Vice President Silak was a partner at Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley in Boise, President and CEO of the Idaho Community Foundation, Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Idaho, and was an associate at Morrison & Foerster. She was a law clerk to U. S. District Judge William Schwarzer in San Francisco.
Vice President Silak received a B.A. in Sociology and French Literature from New York University; Masters of City Planning degree from Harvard University; a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall); and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Vice President taught Administrative Law as an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Public Administration Program at Boise State University. She has written articles on statutory interpretation and judicial selection. Vice President Silak is a member of the National Advisory Council of the American Judicature Society and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Boise Art Museum. She is also a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Vice President Silak and her husband Nicholas G. Miller reside in Boise.