Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today the appointment of U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian for the Northern District of New York as chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC). Attorney General Lynch also appointed U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan to serve as vice chair. Both appointments are effective immediately.
“The Attorney General’s Advisory Committee plays an essential role in shaping the Justice Department’s policies, implementing its programs, and ensuring that equal justice and the rule of law are upheld throughout the United States,” said Attorney General Lynch. “As a former chair of the AGAC, I know firsthand the significant duties required of the committee’s leaders, and I am certain that U.S. Attorneys Richard Hartunian and Barbara McQuade are ready to assume the responsibility of chairing such an important and distinguished body. They are both seasoned prosecutors, exemplary law enforcement officers, and devoted public servants, and I look forward to benefitting from their long experience and wise counsel as we advance the department’s vital work in the months ahead. I congratulate them on their new posts, and I once again thank former U.S. Attorney John Walsh for his outstanding service as AGAC chair over the last 20 months.”
U.S. Attorney Hartunian has been the vice chair of the AGAC since January 2015. He was appointed to the AGAC in 2013 and has served as the co-chair of the Border and Immigration Subcommittee, as well as a member of the subcommittees focused on Native American issues, Health Care Fraud and Environmental Crimes. He has served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York since January of 2010. Before that, he had been an Assistant U.S. Attorney there since 1997 and the district’s Narcotics Chief and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Coordinator since 2006.
U.S. Attorney Hartunian is a 1983 cum laude graduate of Georgetown University and a 1986 graduate of the Albany Law School of Union University. He was engaged in the private practice of law in Albany from 1987 to 1990. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Albany County from 1990 to 1997, where his work on narcotics and violent crime cases led to his designation as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1994.
In May of 2010, U.S. Attorney Hartunian was honored by the Armenian Bar Association as the first U.S. Attorney of Armenian descent.
U.S. Attorney McQuade was appointed to the AGAC in April 2013 and has previously served as co-chair of the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee. She also served on subcommittees addressing civil rights and border security. She became the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan when she took office in January of 2010. She was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit, Michigan, for 12 years, including service as Deputy Chief of the National Security Unit.
U.S. Attorney McQuade is a 1987 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1991 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Before becoming a federal prosecutor, she practiced law in a Detroit firm and served as a law clerk to a U.S. District Judge. From 2003 to 2009, U.S. Attorney McQuade was as an adjunct law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
While U.S. Attorney McQuade replaces U.S. Attorney Hartunian as vice chair, U.S. Attorney Hartunian replaces former U.S. Attorney John Walsh for the District of Colorado as chair.
The AGAC was created in 1973 to serve as the voice of the U.S. Attorneys and to advise the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues impacting the offices of the U.S. Attorneys.