Sonja Spears

Chief Justice and Equity Officer

Headshot of Chief Justice and Equity Officer Sonja Spears

Sonja Spears is the Chief Justice and Equity Officer for the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she coordinates, unifies, and enhances internal and external equity and justice commitments, leading the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) office as a valued center for learning and evolving best practices and transformative change in systems, processes, and behaviors.

Before joining UCS, Ms. Spears served as the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, where she led the organization's Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) initiatives to center these principles throughout the program. She also previously practiced law in New Orleans, then was elected as a judge, beginning her tenure with her colleague as one of the two first black judges to ever serve on the First City Court of New Orleans. She served for twelve years before her retirement in 2010.

After her retirement from the bench, Ms. Spears returned to her native Boston, Massachusetts, and her alma mater Tufts University where she has been teaching social justice classes to graduate and undergraduate students since 2013.