WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Joe Biden announced the appointment of Rose Vela as Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, U.S. Office of Personal Management. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson established the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships (PCWHF) in 1964 by Executive Order. PCWHF is responsible for selecting emerging leaders interested in public service to gain first-hand experience and knowledge on the inner workings at the highest levels of the Federal government.

Judge Rose Vela was born at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and was raised in a military family. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985 from Southwest Texas State University in just three years at the age of 20. She then received her law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1988 and became licensed to practice in Texas that same year. Upon graduation from law school, Rose served as Briefing Attorney to the Honorable Alfonso Chapa of the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio. She then married Congressman Vela and relocated to Corpus Christi where she served as Briefing Attorney to the Honorable Robert J. Seerden of the 13th Court of Appeals. After that she entered into private civil practice in Corpus Christi, concentrating on civil appellate law.

In 1998, Rose was elected to the 148th State District Court of Nueces County, Texas, where she presided over a court of general jurisdiction, including thousands of complex civil and criminal cases. During this time, she was elected by her peers to serve as the Local Administrative Presiding Judge.

In 2006, after serving two full terms as a District Judge, Rose was elected as an Associate Justice to the Thirteenth Court of Appeals, a circuit which oversees appeals from twenty counties in South Texas. She retired from state judicial service in 2016.

Rose is also a graduate of the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation (2005), New York University College of Appellate Judges (2009), National Judicial College (1999, 2000) and the Texas College of Advanced Judicial Studies (2005). Throughout her extensive career, she has been involved in numerous civic activities, serving on various boards including the Food Bank of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi Crime Control and Prevention District (Chair), Nueces County Appraisal District, Nueces County Court Appointed Special Advocates. She is also a former President of the Corpus Christi Young Lawyers Association and Director of the Corpus Christi Bar Association.

Rose and Congressman Vela have been married for 31 years.

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