President Hon. Vanessa Ruiz
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Judge Vanessa Ruiz was appointed to the position of Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest court of the District of Columbia, in 1994 by President Clinton. Before her appointment, she was Corporation Counsel (now Attorney General) for the District of Columbia. Prior to government service, Judge Ruiz was in private practice focused on international commercial transactions. She is active in many organizations, including the U.S. National Association of Women Judges, of which she was President, and the Council for Court Excellence. Judge Ruiz is a member of the American Law Institute and a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She regularly speaks on issues of judicial independence and judicial diversity and meets with judges from other countries. A member of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Judge Ruiz serves as a mentor for individual Latino law students, and she speaks to law students about judicial clerkships. She participates in programs to educate the Hispanic and immigrant communities about the law and the courts and has developed a judicial education program to alert judges about the obstacles immigrants face in the courts. Judge Ruiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and she is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Georgetown University Law Center.