First Greek-American Woman Appointed Federal Judge

Honorable Eleni Maria Roumel and Vice President Mike Pence at her swearing-in ceremony at The White House on Monday. Credit: Mike Manatos

Eleni Maria Roumel was sworn in as a Federal Judge by Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on February 24, becoming the first Greek-American woman to serve as a federal judge.

With her family roots on the island of Chios, the Honorable Judge Roumel will serve on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. After being nominated by President Donald Trump on June 24, 2019 and confirmed by the Senate on January 8, 2020, she received her commission on February 24.

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1974, Roumel graduated from Wake Forest University in 1996, then graduated from Tulane University Law School in 2000 while simultaneously earning her MBA from Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.

In her professional career, Roumel was in private practice in New York City from 2000 to 2002 and 2004 to 2006. She served as a law clerk for the Hon. William H. Pauley III, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, from 2002 to 2004, and then reentered into private practice in Charleston, South Carolina from 2006-2012.

Roumel was also an Adjunct Professor at the Charleston School of Law, 2010-2012. From 2012-2018, she served as Assistant General Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives. From 2018 to 2020, Roumel served as Deputy Counsel for U.S. Vice President Pence.

The United States Court of Federal Claims is a court of record with national jurisdiction. It consists of sixteen judges, who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a term of fifteen years.

The Court is authorized to hear primarily financial-related claims founded upon the Constitution, federal statutes, executive regulations, or contracts, express or implied in fact, with the United States.

In recent years, the court’s Fifth Amendment jurisdiction has included many cases raising environmental and natural resources issues. Another large category of cases involves civilian and military pay claims.

In addition, the court rules on intellectual property, Indian tribe, and various statutory claims against the United States.