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Judith S. Kaye was sworn in as Chief Judge of the State of New York on March 23, 1993, becoming the first woman to occupy the top judicial office of New York State. She became the first woman to serve on New York State’s highest court when Governor Mario M. Cuomo appointed her Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals in September 1983.

Kaye is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices, chair of the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, and a member of the Board of Editors of the New York State Bar Journal, among other roles. She was co-chair of the American Bar Association Commission on the American Jury..

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Bar Association Justice Center John Marshall Award, the North American Council on Adoptable Children’s Adoption Activist Award, the Justice Management Institute’s Ernest C. Friesen Award of Excellence, the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the National Center for State Courts’ William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, the New York County Lawyers Association’s William Nelson Cromwell Award, New York University Law School’s Vanderbilt Medal, the Barnard College President’s Medal, the Gold Medal of the New York State Bar Association and the Fordham-Stein Prize.