Howard D. McKibben was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and took the oath of office on October 12, 1984. He was Chief Judge of the District from December 1, 1997, until October 12, 2002. He assumed senior status on April 1, 2005.

Judge McKibben received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Bradley University in 1962. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and received a master’s degree in 1964. He received his J.D. degree in 1967 from the University of Michigan Law School. He was admitted to the Nevada Bar in 1968 where he was in private practice until he was elected District Attorney of Douglas County in 1970. He served as District Attorney from 1971 to 1977. Governor O’Callaghan appointed Judge McKibben to the Ninth Judicial District Court in 1977 where he served until 1984.

Judge McKibben has served as president of the Ninth Circuit District Judges Association and the Nevada State District Judges Association. He has been a member of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council and was the chair of the Ninth Circuit Jury Committee. Judge McKibben is the former chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction. He served on the Nevada State Board of Bar Examiners. Judge McKibben was a past President of the Howard D. McKibben Inn of Court, and he is one of the founders of the Bruce R. Thompson Inn of Court. In 2010, Judge McKibben was the recipient of the Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit. In 2019, he was the recipient of the State Bar of Nevada’s Presidential Award. He has served for many years on the faculty of the National Judicial College. Judge McKibben has participated with the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern European Law Initiative Program and has participated in seminars in Eastern Europe. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Eagle Valley Children’s Home.

Judge McKibben and his wife Mary Ann have two children and four grandchildren.