The process by which the chief justice of the Supreme Court is selected is the same as the initial selection of a judge or justice. The president nominates a person to serve as chief justice, the Senate Judiciary Committee reviews the nomination and makes a recommendation, and the Senate as a whole votes whether to accept the recommendation of the Judiciary Committee.
Although most chief justices have previously been associate justices of the Supreme Court, this is not always the case. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts to be chief justice after Roberts previously served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Similarly, Warren Berger, a nominee of President Richard Nixon in 1969, elevated to the position of chief justice directly from a position on the D.C. Court of Appeals.