Nancy J. Rosenstengel is the Chief United States District Judge in the Southern District of Illinois. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in 1990 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, in 1993 from Southern Illinois University School of Law. Before joining the bench, she was a member of the Illinois and Missouri bars, practicing litigation in state and federal courts in St. Louis, Missouri. She later served as a career law clerk to United States District Judge G. Patrick Murphy, and as Clerk of Court in the Southern District of Illinois, a high-level administrative position.
On November 7, 2013, President Obama nominated Rosenstengel to serve as a United States District Judge. The Senate voted 95-0 for final confirmation on May 8, 2014, and she received her judicial commission on May 12, 2014. Rosenstengel is the first female district judge to serve in the Southern District of Illinois (and also was the first female to serve as Clerk of Court). Since taking the bench in 2014, she has presided over the Depakote mass action pending in the Southern District of Illinois. Two cases proceeded to jury verdict before a global settlement was reached in the litigation.
In April 2019, Rosenstengel became Chief Judge for the Southern District of Illinois. She is the Past President of the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association and serves on several committees for the Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals.