Gov. Mike Leavitt has appointed Denise Posse Lindberg to the 3rd District Court.

The appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate, but senators have not turned down any of Leavitt's judicial appointments.Leavitt has been criticized in the past for not appointing enough women and minorities to Utah's judiciary.

Lindberg's appointment gets two birds with one stone: Not only is she a woman, she also is Hispanic.

Lindberg came to the United States with her family as a refugee from Cuba when she was only 10 years old.

"Lindberg brings vast real life experiences and a keen legal mind to the 3rd District Court bench," Leavitt said in a news release. "She has a deep commitment to, and appreciation for, the rule of law and will discharge her judicial duties with integrity."

Lindberg went to high school in New York and earned bachelor and law degrees from Brigham Young University. She also has a master's degree in educational psychology and social work and a Ph.D. in health sciences from the University of Utah. She also clerked for justices on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Lindberg practiced law and was a consultant to doctor groups. Prior to that, she was general counsel and corporate secretary to Aetna Inc.'s Human Affairs International, the insurance company's managed behavioral health subsidiary.

Before going to law school, she worked for the Utah State Office of Education and as a research and teaching fellow at the University of Utah's College of Health.