May 24, 2013
Pictured (l-r): Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and Honorable Pamela K. Chen of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
On Thursday, May 23, 2013, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., hosted the Honorable Pamela K. Chen of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to speak at an event held in recognition of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Judge Chen addressed an audience of Assistant District Attorneys and other members of the Office’s legal and support staff.
“It is a privilege to recognize and host the Honorable Pamela Chen in our Office,” said District Attorney Vance. “Judge Chen has forged an extraordinary career in public service, and the diversity of her professional and personal experience makes her an ideal guest at our Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month celebration. As an Asian-American, a woman, and an accomplished attorney, she has excelled in all facets of her life.”
In August 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Judge Chen to serve as a United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Eleven weeks ago, her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, making Judge Chen the first female Chinese-American Article III judge outside of the state of California. She is also the second-ever Chinese-American female federal judge in the U.S.
Preceding her nomination in 2012, Judge Chen established a remarkable career in private practice and public service. After five years at private law firms in Washington, D.C., Judge Chen served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1998, she became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where she was promoted to Chief of Civil Rights Litigation, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section, and Chief of the Civil Rights Section. Judge Chen also served as Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement in the New York State Division of Human Rights.
Since 2010, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Diversity Committee has hosted more than 20 events in honor of the people who have shaped American history and culture. Past events have been held in recognition of Women’s History month, Black History month, and Hispanic Heritage month, and the Committee’s Speakers Series has featured such respected lecturers as feminist and activist Gloria Steinem, Harlem Children’s Zone President and CEO Geoffrey Canada, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and New York State Senator Tom Duane.