Justice Randall Eng will become the first Asian-American presiding justice to sit in the Appellate Division, after Governor Andrew Cuomo named him to head the Second Department on Monday.
Eng, who was born in China and raised in New York City, said in an interview Monday that he was "very honored" to receive the appointment.
An associate justice in the Second Department since 2008, Eng was one of seven Appellate Division appointments announced by Cuomo.
"I am proud to appoint such an accomplished and diverse group of jurists to the Appellate Division," Cuomo said in a statement. "I am also pleased to appoint Justice Eng to serve as New York's first Asian-American presiding justice and lead one of the busiest appellate courts in the country."
In an interview, Eng said he became the first Asian-American judge in New York history when he joined the New York City Criminal Court in 1983.
In the nearly three decades since, he noted, the number of Asian-Americans in the legal community has grown, although perhaps "not as many as it should be on the bench," he said. "I hope this gives encouragement."