Reena Raggi '73

Alumnae Achievement Awards 2011

Reena Raggi '73
Federal Judge
Generous Teacher

Reena Raggi

Reena Raggi '73 is currently a Federal Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, a position she has held since 2002. She was appointed at the retirement of Amalya L. Kearse, Wellesley College ’59, who also received an Alumnae Achievement Award in 1981. Prior to her current appointment, Reena has had a distinguished career in the US Attorney’s Office, in private practice and as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York. She was not only the youngest appointee in the history of the District to this post, but also the first woman. She has presided over many well-known cases: the terrorist plot to bomb a Brooklyn subway train in 1997; the retrial of one of the former police officers accused of violating the civil rights of Abner Louima; and a number of cases relating to the Golden Venture, the freighter intentionally grounded by human smugglers off the coast of Brooklyn. In 2007, Reena was awarded the Federal Bar Council Learned Hand Medal for Excellence in Federal Jurisprudence. Recipients of this award have included some of the greatest legal minds of the past century, including Supreme Court Justices and influential law professors. When she was nominated for her current position on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush, her confirmation hearing produced praise by both democrats and republicans. Senator Chuck Schumer called her “the ideal nominee.” Reena is considered one of the premier federal judges of the United States. In addition to her professional achievements, she is both a teacher and a mentor to her many law clerks and student clerks.

Reena was a history major at Wellesley and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School.


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