President Biden is announcing eight nominees to serve as U.S. Attorneys across the country, officials who will be indispensable to upholding the rule of law as the top federal law enforcement officials for their districts.
These individuals—many of whom are historic firsts—were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice.
The President has launched a comprehensive effort to take on the uptick in gun crime that has been taking place for the last 18 months—putting more cops on the beat, supporting community prevention programs, and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. Confirming U.S. Attorneys as the chief federal law enforcement officers in their district is important for these efforts.
Erek L. Barron, U.S. Attorney nominee for the District of Maryland
Erek L. Barron is a partner at the law firm of Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP. He has also been a member of the Maryland legislature since 2015. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Barron served as Counsel and Policy Advisor to then-Senator Joseph R. Biden on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs. From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Barron served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. Prior to that, Mr. Barron served as a Maryland prosecutor in the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office and subsequently in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. Mr. Barron received his LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007, his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School in 1999, and his B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1996.
Nicholas W. Brown, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Western District of Washington
Nicholas W. Brown is a partner at Pacifica Law Group. Mr. Brown previously served as General Counsel to the Governor of Washington from 2013 to 2017, and as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington from 2007 to 2013. Mr. Brown began his legal career as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Army, serving as both a prosecutor and defense counsel. Mr. Brown received his J.D. from Harvard University in 2002 and his B.A. from Morehouse College in 1999.
Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney nominee for the District of Columbia
Matthew M. Graves has been a partner at DLA Piper LLP in Washington, D.C. since 2016. Previously, from 2007 to 2016, Mr. Graves worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia, where he served in the Office’s Fraud and Public Corruption Section, ultimately serving as the acting chief of the Section. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Graves was an associate at WilmerHale. From 2001 to 2002, he served as a law clerk for Judge Richard W. Roberts on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Graves received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2001 and his B.A. from Washington and Lee University in 1998.
Clifford D. Johnson, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Northern District of Indiana
Clifford D. Johnson served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana from 1986 until 2020. Mr. Johnson held numerous positions during his tenure, including as the First Assistant United States Attorney from 2010 to 2020, and as the Acting United States Attorney for several months in 2017. Before joining the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Indiana in 1986, Mr. Johnson was a Trial Attorney in the Employment Litigation Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. from 1980 to 1985. Mr. Johnson received his J.D. from Valparaiso University Law School in 1980 and his B.A. from Valparaiso University in 1976.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Southern District of Indiana
Zachary A. Myers is an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, where he has served since 2014. Since 2018, Mr. Myers has worked in the District of Maryland’s National Security and Cybercrime Section, serving as Cybercrime Counsel for the District. From 2011 through 2014, Mr. Myers served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. From 2008 through 2011, Mr. Myers was as an attorney at the Indianapolis law firm then known as Baker & Daniels. Mr. Myers received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2008, his M.A. from the George Washington University in 2005, and his B.A. from Stanford University in 2003.
Rachael S. Rollins, U.S. Attorney nominee for the District of Massachusetts
Rachael S. Rollins was elected District Attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts in 2018. Ms. Rollins served as the Chief Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Port Authority from 2013 to 2015, and as the General Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2013 and contemporaneously to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority from 2012 to 2013. Ms. Rollins was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2011. From 2002 to 2006, Ms. Rollins was an attorney at Bingham McCutchen LLP, and from 1999 to 2002, she was a Field Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. Ms. Rollins began her legal career as a clerk to Judge Frederick Brown of the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 1997 to 1998. Ms. Rollins received her LL.M. in labor and employment law from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999, her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1997, and her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1994.
Trini E. Ross, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Western District of New York
Trini E. Ross has served as the Director of Investigations, Legal Division, with the National Science Foundation’s Office of Inspector General since 2018. Ms. Ross has also been an adjunct professor at The State University of New York, at Buffalo, School of Law, since 2006. From 1995 to 2018, Ms. Ross was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, where she served as the Senior Litigation Counsel and the Chief of the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Section from 2012 to 2017. Ms. Ross also served as an Assistant Counsel with the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility from 2007 to 2009. She was previously a civil litigation associate at Hiscock & Barclay, LLC from 1994 to 1995. Ms. Ross served as an Appellate Court Attorney for the New York State Supreme Court from 1992 to 1994. Ms. Ross received her J.D., cum laude, from The State University of New York, at Buffalo, School of Law, in 1992, her M.A. from Rutgers University in 1990, and her B.A. from The State University of New York, at Fredonia, in 1988.
Vanessa Waldref, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Eastern District of Washington
Vanessa Waldref has been a Trial Attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice since 2020. Previously, Ms. Waldref served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington from 2013 to 2020. She was a litigation associate at two Spokane-based law firms: Lee & Hayes from 2012 to 2013, and Lukins & Annis from 2011 to 2012. Ms. Waldref served as a law clerk for Judge John D. Bates on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2011. She began her legal career as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster from 2008 to 2010. Waldref received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2008 and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2002.