(CN) – U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Nguyen of Los Angeles has been nominated to the 9th Circuit by President Barack Obama.
Nguyen became the first Vietnamese-American to joined the federal bench in 2009, when she was appointed to the Central District of California, also by President Obama.
After seven years working as a federal prosecutor, former California Gov. Gray Davis appointed Nguyen to serve as a judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2002.
Nguyen started at the law firm of Musick, Peeler & Garrett of Los Angeles, where she was a litigation associate from 1991 to 1994. She received her undergraduate degree at Occidental College and graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1991.
Born in Dalat, Vietnam, Nguyen and her family fled the country in 1975, near the end of the Vietnam War. Her family lived in a tent in a refugee camp on the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton, Calif., for more than a month before moving to the Los Angeles area.
The nomination, which must be confirmed by the Senate, fills a seat on the circuit that has been vacant since 2009. Of the 29 authorized judgeships on the circuit, three are left vacant with no nominee. Circuit judges currently make $184,500 per year.