Loretta E. Lynch (2015-2017)
Loretta Elizabeth Lynch was born May 21, 1959, in Greensboro, North Carolina, to Lorenzo and Lorine Lynch, a Baptist minister and a school librarian. Growing up, Lynch attended court proceedings in Durham, North Carolina, with her father, sparking her early interest in law. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from Harvard University in 1981 and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1984.
After serving as chief assistant U. S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York, Lynch was nominated by President Bill Clinton as the U. S. Attorney for that same district. In that position, she oversaw the Abner Louima brutality case against several New York City police officers. After leaving the U. S. Attorney’s office for a partnership at Hogan & Hartson in 2001, she was nominated once more as the U. S. Attorney of the Eastern District, this time by President Barack Obama. She was also a member of the board of the Federal Reserve from 2003 to 2005.
As U. S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York, Lynch and her office prosecuted both Republican and Democratic politicians as well as the banking institutions Citigroup and HSBC Holdings PLC. She continued her fight against corruption by overseeing the 2015 FIFA investigations which earned her soccer’s 3rd annual Golden Blazer award in appreciation of her efforts.
On November 8, 2014, President Obama nominated Lynch as U.S. Attorney General, succeeding Eric Holder. Due to opposition, Lynch had one of the longest confirmations in U. S. history, taking 166 days. Vice President Joe Biden swore her in on April 27, 2015, and she became the first black female Attorney General in U.S. history. During her tenure as Attorney General, Lynch oversaw or responded to several cases of note, including prosecution in the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting and the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.