The Honorable Saundra Brown Armstrong

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Biography

The Hon. Saundra Brown Armstrong is a senior district judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. She was nominated to the bench by former President George H. W. Bush on April 25, 1991, filling a seat vacated by the Hon. William A. Ingram (deceased). With this nomination, she became the first African-American woman to serve on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Armstrong earned an A.A. from Merritt College in 1967. She then continued her studies at California State University, Fresno, where she completed a B.A. in 1969. After graduating from university, Armstrong joined the Oakland Police Department as its first African-American policewoman.

While working with the Oakland Police Department, Armstrong enrolled in night classes at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She received her J.D. in 1977 and accepted a position as a deputy district attorney in the Office of the District Attorney of Alameda County. At that time, she was the first African-American female prosecutor to serve in the office.

She took a brief absence from the Office of the District Attorney in order to serve as a senior consultant to the California Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice. Then, in 1980, she returned to the Office of the District Attorney, where she served for the next two years.

Armstrong spent the remainder of her legal career working with the federal government. She started as a trial attorney for the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice in 1982. The following year, she was selected to serve as a commissioner for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. She was then selected to serve as a commissioner for the United States Parole Commission in 1986.

She was appointed to the Superior Court of Alameda County by former Governor George Deukmejian in 1989. She served in that capacity until her nomination to the United States District Court in 1991.

Armstrong was born and raised in Oakland, California. She also holds an M.Div. from the Pacific School of Religion, a degree she earned in 2012.