Chief Justice
Maureen O'Connor

January 1, 2003 - present
Last day of current term: December 31, 2016

On Jan. 1, 2011, Maureen O'Connor became Ohio's first female Chief Justice. She joined the Supreme Court on Jan. 1, 2003, becoming the 148<sup>th</sup> Justice and giving the Court its first-ever female majority.Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor is the 10th chief justice and the first woman in Ohio history to lead the Ohio judicial branch.

Since she took office in 2011, Chief Justice O’Connor has led significant reforms and improvements in the Ohio judicial system, including establishing a task force to examine court funding statewide, creating a committee to examine the administration of the death penalty, and proposing improvements to strengthen judicial elections in Ohio.

She first joined the Supreme Court of Ohio as an associate justice in January 2003. She was re-elected in November 2008 in a landslide victory in which she carried each of Ohio's 88 counties and took approximately 68 percent of the vote. She was elected chief justice in 2010, by a 2-to-1 margin over her challenger and again carrying every county.

Her first statewide judicial election in 2002, in which she took more than 57 percent of the vote, made her the 148th justice to the court, the sixth woman to join the court, and gave the court its first-ever female majority.

Born in the nation's capital, but raised in Strongsville and Parma, Chief Justice O'Connor's career in public service and the law spans three decades and includes service as a private lawyer, magistrate, common pleas court judge, prosecutor, and Supreme Court justice.

She earned her bachelor of arts at Seton Hill College in 1973 before going on to earn her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1980.

While gaining experience in practice as an attorney during the early 1980s, Chief Justice O'Connor created a home for her family and her legal career in Northeast Ohio. Appointed a magistrate in Summit County in 1985, she served in that capacity until becoming a common pleas court judge in 1993. As a busy trial judge, Chief Justice O'Connor was selected by her peers to serve as the administrative judge — a testament to her ability to build coalitions and maintain collegiality while administering to the business of the courts.

She resigned from the bench to become the Summit County prosecuting attorney in 1995. There, she aggressively prosecuted repeat offenders, violent criminals, and public officials who committed ethical violations or improprieties, and lobbied the General Assembly for tougher laws on rape and gang-related offences. Her untiring work received accolades from victims’ rights groups and educational institutions, and earned awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Cleveland State University. In 1998, she was elected lieutenant governor — the second-highest official in the state. She became the governor's chief advisor on criminal justice issues, serving as director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and as chair of Ohio's Security Task Force and the State Building Security Review Committee.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, she led the state in its response to new threats of terrorism by working with law enforcement, Ohio EMA, and the Department of Homeland Security, efforts that garnered the praise of federal homeland security officials.

Chief Justice O’Connor also has raised two adult sons, Alex and Ed Kipp, who both married lovely, intelligent women, much to her surprise and delight. She also has two grandchildren, Xavier and Henry.

Chief Justice O'Connor has pursued an extensive agenda for strengthening the third branch of Ohio government in a number of key areas:

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio
Elected in November 2010; term began January 1, 2011

Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio
Elected in November 2002 and began term January 2003; re-elected in November 2008 and began term in January 2009

Prosecuting Attorney, Summit County
Served from 1995 to 1999

Judge, Summit County Court of Common Pleas
Served from 1993 to 1995 and elected by her peers to serve as administrative judge

Magistrate, Summit County Probate Court
Appointed in 1985 and served until 1993

Attorney, private practice of law
Practiced from 1981 to 1985 and handled both criminal and civil cases

STATEWIDE PUBLIC SERVICE

Lieutenant Governor and Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, State of Ohio
As lieutenant governor from 1999 to 2003, Chief Justice O'Connor also chaired the State of Ohio Security Task Force and the State Building Security Review Committee.

HONORS AND AWARDS

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, Seton Hill College, 1973
Juris Doctor, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1980

PROFESSIONAL

Member, Board of Directors, Conference of Chief Justices
Member, American Law Institute

PERSONAL

Born
In Washington, D.C. and raised in Strongsville, Ohio and Parma, Ohio

Member
St. Vincent de Paul, Akron, Ohio

Children
Alex and Ed

CONTACT INFORMATION

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431
Tel: 614.387.9000

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