Members of the Virginia Supreme Court have chosen the court's first female chief justice.
Justice Cynthia Dinah Fannon Kinser will assume the post on Feb. 1, 2011, the court said. She will succeed Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell Sr., whose stint as chief will end Jan. 31.
The justices elected Kinser to the post Tuesday.
Virginia's chief justice supervises the administration of the state's entire court system and may assign any circuit court judge temporarily to another circuit or call retired circuit judges back to active duty.
Former Gov. George Allen appointed Kinser to the court in 1997.