Who is Vanessa Gilmore?
Vanessa Diane Gilmore is a judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She was appointed to this position by President Clinton in 1994. At that time, she was the youngest sitting federal judge in the United States. She was also the first graduate of the University of Houston to be appointed to the federal bench.
In 1982, Gilmore began a 13-year tenure at a Houston law firm where she specialized in civil litigation. Gilmore also became an active member of the Houston civic community, serving on the boards of a number of civic and charitable organizations. She also became involved in the Texas political arena while serving as counsel and teacher in the area of election law.
Her civic activities outside of the courtroom brought her to the attention of Governor Ann Richards who in 1991 appointed Gilmore to the Texas Department of Commerce Policy Board, where she also served as chairperson from 1992 to 1994. Her appointment to that board made Judge Gilmore the first African-American to serve on this board responsible for increasing business and tourism and job training development in Texas. In 1993, she also served as chairperson of Texans for NAFTA. In this capacity, she worked regularly with diplomatic leaders, including the President of Mexico, to increase U.S. trade opportunities
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