Chief Justice
Maureen O'Connor

January 1, 2003 - present
Last day of current term: December 31, 2022

Image of Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

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 148th 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 improving access to justice by addressing the impact that court fines, fees, and bail practices have on economically disadvantaged communities, an issue she focuses on as co-chair of the National Task Force on Fees, Fines and Bail Practices. She also is past president of the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and immediate past chair of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Board of Directors.

In addition, in 2016, she started an effort to address the opiate/heroin epidemic by gathering legal experts and state court officials from nine surrounding states to determine ways to address the issue on a regional basis. She also established a task force to maintain public trust and confidence in grand juries, created a committee to examine the administration of the death penalty, and proposed improvements to strengthen judicial elections in Ohio.

She joined the Supreme Court of Ohio as a justice in January 2003 and was re-elected in November 2008. She was elected chief justice in 2010 and was re-elected to a second six-year term in 2016.

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 and 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 degree 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 adviser 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, and has five grandchildren.

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


Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio
Elected in November 2010; re-elected in November 2016 term began January 1, 2017

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


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.



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


President and Board Member, Conference of Chief Justices
Member, American Law Institute


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

St. Vincent de Paul, Akron, Ohio

Alex and Ed


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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