Leah Ward Sears is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S. state of Georgia. She is also Chair of the Judicial Council of Georgia, the 200 million dollar agency in charge of the state judicial system. When sworn in on June 28, 2005, Sears became the first African-American female Chief Justice in the United States. When she was first appointed as justice in 1992 by then Governor Zell Miller, she became the first woman and youngest person to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia.
She announced in October of 2008, that she would leave the court at the end of June 2009, to "explore another chapter in my life". At 53, with a career filled with "first", she is well positioned to succeed retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter and become the first African-American female Supreme Court Justice.