Judge Govendo was born in Syracuse, New York on January 28, 1945, has been a resident of the Northern Marianas since 1976. In 1966, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Alfred University in Alfred, New York. In 1969, he obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo College of Law.
After law school, Judge Govendo became a general practitioner in Redondo Beach, California, and worked part-time as a senior staff attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of the South Bar Association. After moving to the Western Pacific, he served as District Attorney in Palau and as Assistant Attorney General on Saipan during the Trust Territory period. He also served as Assistant Legislative Counsel for the Fifth Northern Marianas District Legislature and was legal counsel for the Department of Natural Resources, Board of Elections and Civil Service Commission.
Throughout most of his career on Saipan, Judge Govendo has been a private practice lawyer handling a wide variety of cases. He served as legal counsel for Northern Marianas College for over a decade.
In 1985, Judge Govendo helped organize the Citizens Committee Against Nuclear Waste Dumping in the Ocean, and participated as an adviser to the Greenpeace delegation at the London Dumping Convention in a successful effort to thwart the Japanese government's plan to dump low-level-nuclear waste in the ocean 600 miles north of Saipan. As both an attorney and a commentator, he was been active in public land, economic development, and environmental matters, both as an attorney and as a commentator. He was also Saipan's first television talk show host on Saipan Cable Forum.
Since 2003, Judge Govendo has been the primary Family Court judge in the Northern Marianas, handling divorce, paternity, custody, adoption, wardship, guardian, and domestic violence cases. He has helped raise the community's awareness about domestic violence and is responsible for setting up the Family Court's Separating Parents Program, which is designed to help parents dealing with their children during a divorce or separation. Judge Govendo is married to Domitilia Camacho Govendo. They have one child, Roger Syd Camacho Govendo.
Right: Judge Govendo is pictured in February 2014, speaking to the press after the release of the Family Law Digest containing all Commonwealth Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Trial Court, and Trust Territory High Court case law on family law.