Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts
Virgin Islands Chief Justice receives NCSC’s Distinguished Service Award
Williamsburg, Va., Feb. 12, 2019 – A Virgin Islands Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge is the recipient of the 2018 National Center for State Courts' (NCSC) Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of NCSC. The award will be presented at the Conference of Chief Justices’ midyear meeting in Clearwater, Florida.
Chief Justice Hodge and his colleagues, with assistance from NCSC, has been instrumental in facilitating the transformation of the Virgin Islands Judiciary into a 21st century court system. Not only has Chief Justice Hodge been the steward of the Supreme Court since its establishment in 2006, but he successfully led the effort to unify the Virgin Islands judiciary and continues to oversee the consolidation of services and internal reorganization of the administrative office of courts. During the recent hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which created unimaginable demands on the judicial system, Chief Justice Hodge remained a steady and calm presence who led efforts to restore normalcy and continues to lead the ongoing recovery.
Chief Justice Hodge, a native of Anguilla, first moved to the Virgin Islands after high school to attend college. Following law school, he worked as a private lawyer there for 21 years and served as the President of the Virgin Islands Bar Association. He became a superior court judge in 2000, where he later served as the presiding judge of that court. In 2006, he was nominated by the governor and confirmed by the legislature to serve as one of three justices to serve on the new supreme court, and the governor designated him its first chief justice. Throughout his tenure as Chief Justice, he has served on the board of directors for the Conference of Chief Justices and on various committees, including joint-committees with the Conference of State Court Administrators, and is presently Co-Chair of the CCJ/COSCA Court Management Committee.
NCSC presents a handful of Distinguished Service awards annually to those who have made significant contributions to the court system and to the work of the NCSC. The awards recognize one person from each of the following categories: current or former state appellate judge; current of former state trial judge; state-level court administrator or employee; trial-level court administrator or employee; attorney or other individual not employed by the courts; and current or former international judge or court executive.
The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.