For the first time a female judge has been appointed chief justice of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench.

Mary Moreau will take on the role after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced her appointment Tuesday.

"I've certainly received a whole pile of emails throughout the day, so it's been a pretty exciting day," said Moreau, speaking to Radio Active from Grande Prairie where she was performing a bilingual bar admissions ceremony.

Moreau said her new role will be quite a change from the past 22 years spent in the courtroom working on criminal, civil and family law cases.

In her new administrative role, Moreau's focus will be on assigning judges their cases, dealing with issues of judicial resources and dealing with both federal and provincial governments.

"It will be a very exciting time and challenging for me," she said.

Since joining the bench in 1994, Moreau has been involved in education, administration and strategic planning for Canada's court system, the Prime Minister's Office said in a news release.

Moreau has presided over French and bilingual trials in Alberta, and litigated numerous landmark cases involving minority language rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

She is a co-founder of the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Alberta.

Since 2014, Moreau has been a member of the advisory committee on judicial ethics, which provides confidential advisory opinions on ethical issues to federally appointed judges across Canada.

Before becoming a judge, Moreau practised criminal law, constitutional law and civil litigation in Edmonton.

The province's highest ranking judge is Catherine Fraser, who in 1992 became the first woman to be appointed Chief Justice of Alberta at the superior Court of Appeal of Alberta.