PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Lara Montecalvo, who leads the Rhode Island Public Defenders Office, has been nominated by President Biden to serve on the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

Montecalvo, 48, of Barrington, joined the public defenders office in 2004 before taking the helm at the office in July 2020 to succeed Mary McElroy, who was named a U.S. District Judge.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Montecalvo would replace Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson, who announced her plan to take senior status in July.

Montecalvo is a graduate of Swarthmore College and has a juris doctorate from Boston College Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude.

The 1st Circuit hears appeals cases from all six New England states and Puerto Rico. The 13 circuit courts nationwide are one level below the U.S. Supreme Court in the federal judiciary.

U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse conducted a selection process and made their recommendations to the White House for the vacancy.

“Lara Montecalvo is an exceptional public servant with sterling legal credentials and a profound respect for the rule of law. She has practiced law in every court in Rhode Island and earned high marks from her peers across the legal spectrum,” Reed and Whitehouse said in a joint statement. “She is highly qualified for this important position and will bring a unique perspective and diversity of experience to the First Circuit.  We urge the Senate to consider and confirm her nomination in a swift and timely manner.”

The nomination of Montecalvo was first reported by Reuters.

This is a developing story – check back for details.

Tim White ( is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.