WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed confirmed the nomination of Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Ki Mai Chen to serve on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Chen, confirmed in a voice vote, will be the second female Chinese-American federal judge in U.S. history, and also would be one of the first openly lesbian federal judges, according to the office of Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“Pamela Chen will be an excellent federal judge,” said Schumer, who nominated Chen last August. “She is an experienced attorney with a long record of public service who possesses the legal excellence, intellect and temperament to be a first-rate judge.”
Chen entered public service in 1991, serving for eight years in the U.S. Department of Justice as a trail attorney in the Civil Rights division. There, she specialized in the reform of state and local prisons, juvenile detention centers, and residential facilities for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.
Moving to New York in 1998 to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Chen now serves as Chief of the Civil Rights Section’s Criminal Division. She has specialized in the investigation and prosecution of criminal civil rights matters, including human trafficking, and hate crimes.
Chen also provides training to federal law enforcement on human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.