2017 OCSS Conference Featured Speakers

2017 OCSS Conference Featured Speakers

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor


Sharon Davies, J.D.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor


Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor was first elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio in 2002, becoming the 148th Justice to the Court and creating the first female majority in Ohio’s history. She was re-elected in November 2008.

In 2010, Ohio elected her Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the first female to lead the judicial branch of Ohio government. In her first term as Chief, she worked to help voters become informed about judicial candidates, ensure that the courts were accessible to all, promoted diversity in the legal profession and judiciary, and created task forces to examine Ohio’s grand jury system and use of the death penalty.


In 2016, Ohio re-elected her Chief Justice for a second – and final – six year term. She
continues to work on many initiatives, including two issues of great importance: addressing Ohio’s opiate/heroin epidemic, and as co-chair of the National Task Force on Fees, Fines and Bail Practices, addressing the impact that court fines and bail practices have on economically disadvantaged communities. Chief Justice O’Connor is president of the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and chair of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Board of Directors.


Sharon Davies, J.D.

Sharon Davies, J.D., serves as the Vice Provost of The Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Chief Diversity Officer for the university. She is also the Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, an engaged research institute that seeks to help create a society in which all persons have the opportunity to thrive.  She is the current holder of the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  She also holds a 3-year presidential appointment to the Ohio Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

 Professor Davies was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a Notes and Comments Editor of the Columbia Law Review while in law school at Columbia University. After graduation she worked for Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. and Lord, Day & Lord Barrett Smith in New York City.  Professor Davies served for five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.  She joined the law faculty at Ohio State University in 1995, was awarded tenure in 1999, promoted to Full Professor in 2002, awarded a named professorship in 2003, and her current Chair in 2013.  Professor Davies teaches Civil Rights, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Race and Law, and Evidence.

 Professor Davies has two children, Heather and Tyler. 

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