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The Procurement Lawyer Spring 2024

ABA Mourns Passing of Former Section Chair Marcia Gunnell Madsen

Summary

  • Marcia Gunnell Madsen founded Mayer Brown’s US Government Contracts practice.
  • She was named to National Law Journal’s Washington’s “Most Influential Women Lawyers” and Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business.”
  • She was president of the Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association and was a member of the Executive Committee and the Court of Federal Claims Advisory.
ABA Mourns Passing of Former Section Chair Marcia Gunnell Madsen
Manuel Breva Colmeiro via Getty Images

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In Memoriam

Marcia Gunnell Madsen

DECEMBER 10, 1948 – MARCH 1, 2024

Our dear friend Marcia G. Madsen, former chair of the Section of Public Contract Law (1997–1998) passed away on March 1, 2024. She is survived by her husband, Robert K. Madsen, her sons, Will (27), Peter (24) and Matthew (20), and siblings Darla Klovski and Steven Gunnell.

Marcia was loved and cherished by her family and friends, as well as her friends and extended family in the ABA Section of Public Contract Law and the government contracting community. Marcia earned her honors BA in history and political science from the University of Utah, progressing to earn her JD from the American University and a LL.M in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.

After initially working as a tax lawyer where she became proficient in government contracting law, Marcia joined Mayer Brown and founded their US Government Contracts practice—and continued to excel. With an outstanding record of professional success in government contracts law, Marcia was revered and beloved among colleagues throughout the Washington, DC, community. Marcia also enjoyed success outside the law firm. She served in numerous leadership roles, including Chair of the ABA Section of Public Contract Law (1997–1998), president of the Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association and as a member of the Executive Committee and the Court of Federal Claims Advisory Council, as well as the Federalist Society’s Administrative Law and Regulation Practice Group.

Marcia’s professional life was also marked by significant additional recognitions and contributions. She was also named to National Law Journal’s Washington’s “Most Influential Women Lawyers” and Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business”; and was Chair of the Acquisition Advisory Panel, appointed by the Executive Office of the President. She was also admitted to the Legal 500 US Hall of Fame for Government Contracts, and was recipient of the Founders Day Award from the University of Utah in 2018.

Above all, Maria cherished her family—recently celebrating with Robert their 52nd anniversary—and her role as mother to her three sons. It was rare to have a conversation with Marcia—professionally or personally—where she didn’t talk about her family and their recent developments and activities. Her love and dedication to her family was paramount.

Marcia was a deeply committed leader, mentor, colleague, and friend to everyone she encountered—always available to them with kindness, compassion, and loyalty. We will miss Marcia and will treasure the brilliant legacy she leaves behind. Her passing marks another big loss for the section. The Section honored Marcia’s memory with a tribute during our recent Section Council Meeting in Annapolis, MD.

Contributions in Marcia’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and ASPCA.