Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, a Ghanaian-American woman, has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as a judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California. If confirmed, Frimpong will reportedly be the only Black woman serving in any of California’s four federal district courts and one of only eight across the U.S.
The United States District Court for the Central District of California is one of 94 U.S. District Courts. They are the general trial courts of the United States federal courts. Federal judges are nominated by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.
Frimpong is among Biden’s newest judicial nominees announced on Wednesday as the president seeks to diversify the bench.
Born in Los Angeles County, California in 1975 to Ghanaian immigrants in the U.S., Frimpong has been a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California since 2016. She was appointed to the bench by former governor Jerry Brown following the retirement of Thomas R. White. She has throughout the years been working to provide pro bono legal services to low-income individuals, her profile by trellis.law says.
Frimpong received her undergraduate degree in history and science in 1997 from Harvard University. She worked as a high school teacher at a public school in Ghana after her graduation from Harvard. She then went back to the U.S., where she attended Yale Law School and earned her J.D. in 2001. After law school, the Ghanaian American clerked for the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt US. District Court justice for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 2001 to 2002.
For the next five years, Frimpong practiced civil and intellectual property litigation as an associate at the San Francisco law firm of Morrison and Foerster LLP. By 2007, she had left California to join the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington DC. There, she worked as a trial attorney for two years handling cases involving government contracts, government personnel and international trade disputes.
In 2009, she became counsel to then-U.S. Assistant Attorney General Tony West with the Civil Division of the DOJ in 2009. She worked with the Assistant Attorney General for two years as an advisor in the matters of intellectual property, international trade consumer protection, international law, and immigration.
By 2011, Frimpong was the deputy assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Consumer Protection Branch. She later became principal deputy associate Attorney General before becoming counsel to then-U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder. Jr. in 2014, where she served as an advisor in matters involving national security, financial fraud, immigration, intellectual property, tax, among others.
After working in several leadership positions at the DOJ, she left in 2015 to join The Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington, D.C. a foreign aid agency established by the U.S. Congress in 2004 to help lead the fight against global poverty. At The Millennium Challenge Corporation, Frimpong first served as a corporate secretary before becoming general counsel and finally vice president. She was vice president when she was appointed to the Superior Court in 2016.