Governor Mike DeWine appointed Judith L. French director of the Ohio Department of Insurance on February 8, 2021. Director French serves as a member of governor DeWine’s cabinet and is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the department.
Since becoming director, she has prioritized protecting insurance consumers, fostering a competitive Ohio insurance marketplace, helping Ohioans and health care providers navigate mental health insurance benefits, and ensuring Ohio is a leader in insurance product and technology innovation. The department's Emerging Products and Innovation Initiative has positioned the department and Ohio as a leader in helping bring new insurance-related ideas to market while providing strong consumer protections.
Director French also quickly ascended to strategic leadership roles at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. She represents Ohio as chair of the Life Insurance and Annuities Committee and as a member of the new Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Technology Committee.
Director French has been a public servant for nearly three decades. She was elected and served for eight years as a justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio and eight years as an appellate judge. Director French also served as chief legal counsel to the governor, an assistant attorney general, and a state government lawyer. As an attorney representing the State of Ohio, she made two arguments before the United States Supreme Court.
Prior to joining the public sector, Director French worked as an attorney with the Columbus law firm of Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, specializing in environmental law. She also served as in-house counsel for a large manufacturing company.
Director French received three degrees from The Ohio State University: a B.A. in political science; an M.A. in history (with a concentration in military history and strategic studies); and a J.D., with honors. She is a member of the Moritz College of Law National Council, and in 2018 was awarded the college's Distinguished Jurist Award for her work on the bench.
Director French currently resides in Grandview Heights, near Columbus, with her husband. They have two children and two grandchildren.