Greek-American Jurist Named as Chief Judge in US Court of Federal Claims

The honorable Eleni Roumel and Vice President Mike Pence at her swearing in ceremony at the White House, February, 2020. Credit: Mike Manatos

Eleni M. Roumel, who has served as a Federal judge judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for only eight months, since February of this year, was recently appointed to serve as the Chief Judge of that court by President Donald Trump and assumed office on Monday.

Roumel is the very first Greek-American woman to serve as a federal judge in the United States.

This federal body court was formed in 1855, when Congress established the United States Court of Claims to provide for the adjudication of private claims against the United States government.

Throughout its history, the purpose of the court has remained the same: to stand as the defendant when it is sued by its citizens seeking monetary redress. This is why the court has been referred to as the “keeper of the nation’s conscience” and “the People’s Court.”

Roumel was appointed as a Judge in the United States Court of Federal Claims on February 24, 2020 after previously serving as the Deputy Counsel to Vice President Mike Pence from 2018-2020.

Prior to her tenure at the White House, she served from 2012-2018 as Assistant General Counsel in the US House of Representatives Office of General Counsel. While serving in the House Office of General Counsel Roumel advised and represented the US House of Representatives, members of Congress, and congressional staff in federal trial and appellate courts across the country.

The Greek-American jurist previously was a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Charleston, South Carolina, and before that she practiced at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, in New York City.

She also was an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law, where she taught intellectual property law. Judge Roumel served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Pauley III, the United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, from 2002-2004.

She has practiced before 26 different federal and state courts during her 20 years of law practice.

A native of Maryland, Judge Roumel was born in 1974 and received her J.D., magna cum laude, in 2000 from Tulane Law School, where she graduated with the Order of the Coif. She also served as an editor of the Tulane Law Review. Roumel also earned an MBA from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business in 2000.

The Greek-American jurist has been a member of the Federalist Society since approximately 2013. She was also a member of the James L. Petigru American Inn of Court and a Congressional Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.