Chief Justice Debra Todd


January 2018 to December 2027


  • Chatham College, B.A. with honors, 1979
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., Law Review, 1982
  • University of Virginia School of Law, LL.M, 2004

Professional Experience

  • Litigation attorney, U.S. Steel Corp., 1982-87
  • Private law practice, 1987-99
  • Elected a judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, 1999
  • Elected a justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 2007; Retained 2017

Memberships and Associations

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Foundation
  • Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County
  • American Law Institute
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Foundation
  • American Bar Association
  • National Association of Women Judges
  • International Association of Women Judges
  • Women’s Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Board of Directors
  • Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, Former Board Member, Past President
  • Leadership Pittsburgh Alumnae Board
  • Finnegan Foundation, Former Board Member

Awards and Honors

  • Chatham University Honorary Doctorate in Laws, 2023
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert Distinguished Jurist Award, 2022
  • Women’s Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania’s Susan B. Anthony Award for promoting equality in the legal profession, 2017
  • Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Silver Medallion, for Outstanding Public Service and Professional Excellence, 2017
  • Pittsburgh Action Against Rape Visionary Award recognizing individuals who have made a significant impact in the lives of survivors of sexual violence, 2016
  • Amen Corner Judge Robert E. Dauer Award for Judicial Leadership and Excellence, 2015
  • University of Pittsburgh’s 225th Anniversary Medallion, recognizing alumni who have built better lives through their life’s work, 2013
  • Pitt Law Women’s Association Marjorie Matson Woman of the Year Award, 2013
  • Greater Pittsburgh YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award in Business & Professional Services, 2013
  • University of Pittsburgh Law Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award, 2012
  • Allegheny County Bar Association Philip Werner Amram Award for Professional Excellence, 2010
  • Chatham University Cornerstone Award for Law, 2009
  • Chatham University Honorary Doctorate in Public Service, 2008
  • Celebrate & Share Women of Achievement Award, 2008
  • The Legal Intelligencer Women in the Profession, Woman of the Year Award, 2007-2008
  • Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women, Woman of the Year 2007


  • Report and Recommendations of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Elder Law Task Force (Chair) (2014)
  • “Sentencing of Adult Offenders in Crimes Involving the Sexual Abuse of Children, Too Little, Too Late? A View from the Pennsylvania Bench.” 109 Penn State Law Review 487 (2004)
  • “Pennsylvania’s Progress on Elder Justice” ABA Judges’ Journal (Winter 2023)