Alicia HernandezThe Dallas Bar Association has announced Alicia E. Hernandez as its next executive director, succeeding its longtime head Cathy Maher.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as the sixth executive director of the DBA,” Hernandez, who has worked for the association for 15 years, said in a statement announcing her selection. “… I look forward to working with the association’s leadership and its dedicated staff to continue the great legacy of this association.”

Hernandez, who received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1992, currently serves as the director of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, the association’s community service programs, and the Lawyer Referral Service.

Hernandez was selected after a national search for a successor to Maher, who announced in September 2015 she would retire at the end of this year after 22 years at the helm.

Maher recently received the Legacy Award from the Dallas Minority Attorney Program for her commitment to diversity.

“Alicia will continue to keep us in the forefront as one of the most respected bar associations in the country,” Dallas Bar Association President Jerry Alexander said in the statement. “She is steeped in the traditions of this Bar and has a broad understanding of the needs of lawyers and bar associations as we look to the future.”

Hernandez will start as executive director January 1, 2017.