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Elaine Debra Kaplan (born December 18, 1955) is a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims. She served as General Counsel of the United States Office of Personnel Management from 2009 to 2013, and as acting director of the office in 2013.

Elaine Kaplan
Elaine D. Kaplan.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims
Assumed office
November 6, 2013
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byChristine Odell Cook Miller
Director of the Office of Personnel Management
In office
April 13, 2013 – November 4, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJohn Berry
Succeeded byKatherine Archuleta
Personal details
Born (1955-12-18) December 18, 1955 (age 63)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materBinghamton University
Georgetown University


Early life and careerEdit

Kaplan was born in 1955 in Brooklyn, New York.[1] She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976 from Binghamton University. She received a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, in 1979, from the Georgetown University Law Center.

She began her career as a staff attorney in the Solicitor's Office of the United States Department of Labor. From 1984–98, she worked for the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), with increasing levels of responsibility. In 1998, she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to serve as the head of the United States Office of Special Counsel and served five years in that position.[2]

From 2003–04, she served as office counsel at the law firm of Bernabei and Katz. From 2004–09, she served as Senior Deputy General Counsel at the NTEU. From 2009–13, she was the General Counsel of the United States Office of Personnel Management.[3][4] Kaplan took the office of Acting Director in April 2013, after Director John Berry's four-year term expired.[5]


Kaplan is open about her lesbian identity.[6]

Claims Court serviceEdit

On March 19, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Kaplan to serve as a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, to the seat vacated by Judge Christine Odell Cook Miller.[3]

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on her nomination on May 8, 2013, and reported her nomination to the floor by voice vote on June 6, 2013.[7] Her nomination was confirmed on September 17, 2013, by a vote of 64 ayes to 35 nays.[8] She took the oath of office from Chief Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith on November 6, 2013.[9]


  1. ^ "Kathleen McGettigan". 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  2. ^ Lou Chibbaro Jr. (March 20, 2013). "Obama nominates lesbian attorney for judgeship". Washington Blade.
  3. ^ a b "President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims". 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Chris Huqueriza (September 18, 2013). "Elaine D. Kaplan becomes second openly gay judge elected to Federal Claims Court". FourTwoNine.
  6. ^ "President Obama Nominates Open Lesbian to Serve on U.S. Court of Federal Claims | Human Rights Campaign". 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  7. ^ "Home | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  8. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2013-11-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit