FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2013
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES CONFIRMATION OF PAMELA KI MAI CHEN AS JUDGE FOR EASTERN DISTRICT COURT OF NEW YORK
Schumer Recommended Chen to President Obama in August Due to Her Experience in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of NY and at the New York State Division of Human Rights
Chen is the Second Female Chinese-American Federal Judge in U.S. History
Schumer: Chen’s Experience, Devotion to Public Service Confirm That She Is Going to Be an Excellent Judge
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that Pamela Ki Mai Chen has been confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Eastern District Court of New York. Once Chen begins, she will be the second female Chinese-American federal judge in U.S. history, and will also be one of the first out-lesbian federal judges in U.S. history. Schumer recommended Chen to President Obama for the position in August due to her extensive legal background and work in civil rights. Chen was born in 1961.
“Ms. Chen’s wealth of experience and devotion to public service make it clear that she will be an excellent judge,” Schumer said. “Ms. Chen has proven time and again that she is a leader and a pioneer in the legal field. I have every confidence that she will serve her jurisdiction well.”
Ms. Chen’s parents were immigrants from China. Her father was born near Shanghai and grew up there, and her mother was born in Changsha, the capital of Sichuan Province. They met in the U.S. at the University of Chicago during WWII.
Ms. Chen is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Georgetown Law School. She then served as an associate for Arnold & Porter and Asbill, Junkin, Myers & Buffone, working on a variety of civil litigation matters. Ms. Chen entered public service in 1991, serving for eight years in the U.S. Department of Justice as a Trial Attorney and later Senior Trial 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.
Ms. Chen moved to New York in 1998 to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where she 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. Ms. Chen also provides training to law enforcement on human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad. She also served as the Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement at New York State’s Division for Human Rights in 2008, where she further expander her experience in human and civil rights, and supervised division attorneys relating to discrimination in housing, employment, insurance and public benefits; and investigated and pursued administrative matters to address systemic patterns of discrimination.