President and CEO
Walter and Esther Hewlett Chair in Understanding California’s Future
(Chief Justice of CA, retired)
Tani Cantil-Sakauye is president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, where she holds the Walter and Esther Hewlett Chair in Understanding California’s Future. From 2011 to 2022, she served as the 28th Chief Justice of California and led the judiciary as the chair of the Judicial Council—the constitutional policy and rule making body of the judicial branch—the first person of color and the second woman to do so. Before she was elected statewide as the Chief Justice of California, she served more than 20 years on California appellate and trial courts and was appointed or elevated to higher office by three governors. Earlier in her career she served as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and on the senior staff of Governor Deukmejian, first as deputy legal affairs secretary and later as a deputy legislative secretary. She holds a BA and a JD from the University of California, Davis.