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Machen Swears In 34 D.C. AUSAs
By Andrew Ramonas | March 9, 2022 8:52 am

U.S. Attorney Ron Machen of the District of Columbia formally swore in nearly three dozen of his Assistant U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday in the ceremonial courtroom of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse.

The 34 Assistant U.S. Attorneys sworn in during the ceremonial investiture took office between December 2009 and January 2011. Many of the lawyers are a few years out of law school and held judicial clerkships or jobs at law firms or state prosecutors’ offices before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Machen told the scores of Assistant U.S. Attorneys and their families and friends gathered that he was proud of the new Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr., Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney for External Affairs Wendy Pohlhaus and Matthew Jones, who is Machen’s Counsel. [Article continues below]

D.C. U.S. Attorney Ron Machen administers the oath of office to 33 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys. (photo by Andrew Ramonas / Main Justice)

Machen, who was a D.C. prosecutor from 1997 to 2001, said the Assistant U.S. Attorneys are set to make their own mark on an office with a storied past that includes Attorney General Eric Holder, who served as U.S. Attorney from 1993 to 1997.

But he said their jobs won’t be easy and will include many long nights. ”I will be clear: Many of these folks will work harder than they have ever worked before,” Machen said.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division, who was there to see family friend Philip Selden sworn in, told the new Assistant U.S. Attorneys that they have a great profession. He told them to “milk it for all you can.”

“You are all incredibly lucky,” Breuer said. “This is an extraordinary office.”

The new Assistant U.S. Attorneys, with biographical information provided by DOJ, are:

  • Damian Ahn — Demian graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2003. During law school, Demian was an associate editor and a contributing editor for the Michigan Law Review and a quarterfinalist in the 2002 Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition. Following law school, Demian clerked for the Honorable Frederick J. Martone of the United States District Court for the District Court of Arizona. Thereafter, Demian joined Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering Hall & Dorr LLP in D.C. and was named Counsel at the firm in 2010. In September 2010, Demian started with our Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section, where he continues to practice.
  • Kendra Briggs - Kendra graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002, where she sat on the Moot Court Board. After law school, Kendra served as Assistant General Counsel to the Florida Department of Transportation and then worked on product liability litigation at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP in D.C. In November, Kendra joined our Office. She has been assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section since her arrival.
  • Michelle Brown — Michelle graduated magna cum laude form Cornell Law School in 2004. There, Michelle was elected to the Order of the Coif and was the managing editor of the Cornell Law Review. Following graduation, Michelle clerked for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. After a stint with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Michelle clerked for Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She then moved to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In January 2011, Michelle relocated from New York and joined our Office. She currently serves in the Appellate Division.
  • Natalia Burnett — Natalia graduated cum laude from University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2006. While in law school, Natalia was awarded membership in the National Order of Barristers for Excellence in Moot Court and Appellate Advocacy. After law school, Natalia worked as an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP in Miami before joining our Office in November. Since then, Natalia has been assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section.
  • Nicholas Cannon — In 2006, Nick graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law, where he was a
    member of the Moot Court Board. During the summers of his law school years, Nick interned with our Office. He worked in the Homicide Section in 2005 and the Appellate Division in 2006. After law school, Nick spent two years working at law firms both in the Washington, D.C. area and in Falls Church, Virginia. In 2010, Nick began serving in our Office in the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section. Since that time, Nick has rotated to the Felony Unit of the General Crimes Section, where he prosecutes felony gun and drug cases.
  • Kevin Chambers — Kevin received his Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 2004. While in law school,
    Kevin served as a class representative and as a board member for the Moot Court Competition among his many activities. Following law school, Kevin joined Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr as an associate. In 2006, Kevin began a one-year clerkship with Judge Harry Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Thereafter, Kevin returned to Wilmer Hale, where he remained until he joined our Office in August 2010. Since then, Kevin has practiced in our Appellate Division.
  • Vincent H. Cohen Jr. — Vincent H. Cohen Jr. returns to an office where he served with distinction from 1997 to 2003. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he conducted grand jury investigations and obtained indictments for cases involving bribery and gratuities, embezzlement, false claims, theft of government property and Worker’s Compensation fraud. He also prosecuted cases involving homicides, carjackings and other violent crimes. On the civil side, Cohen defended the United States against allegations of employment discrimination, suits under the Federal Torts Claims Act, and challenges to agency actions. He received numerous awards for his outstanding efforts, including honors from the Attorney General of the United States as well as from the Offices of Inspector General of the Department of State and the Smithsonian Institution. Cohen most recently was a partner at the law firm of Schertler & Onorato LLP, where his practice included representation of individuals and corporations in all aspects of criminal and civil litigation in state and federal courts. He handled cases involving public corruption, bank fraud, bribery, internal corporate investigations, government fraud, antitrust, health care fraud, securities fraud, congressional inquiries and homicide. His civil experience included representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in the areas of products liability, employment discrimination, premises liability and personal injury.
  • Laura Coates — Laura graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law school in 2005. In law school, Laura served as a team member and the student director for the National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Following law school, Laura practiced at law firms in Minnesota and New York before relocating to Washington, D.C. and joining the Voting Rights Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. In January 2011, Laura started her tenure with our Office. She currently practices in our Appellate Division.
  • Jeffrey Cook — Jeff graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University of Law in 2006. While in law
    school, Jeff was a member of the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. After law school, Jeff joined the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP in D.C. and then clerked for Judge Ricardo Urbina of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. Thereafter, Jeff served as the legal program coordinator of the International Justice Mission for a year and was based in Cambodia. In August 2010, Jeff joined our Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section. Currently, Jeff handles a specialized caseload of sexual abuse and child physical abuse matters in that Section.
  • Benjamin Eisman — In 2003, Ben graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. During law school, Ben worked as a summer intern in the Criminal Division of our Office. In the fall semester of his last year of law school, Ben was an extern at a criminal legal clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. After law school, Ben worked for a couple of law firms, clerked for Judge William Q. Hayes of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and taught international human rights courses at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. In December 2009, Ben joined our Office. Since then, he has rotated through the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section and the Appellate Division. He now serves in the Felony Unit of the General Crimes Section.
  • James Ewing — James is a 2002 graduate of the College of William and Mary School of Law, where he worked as the Articles Editor for the William and Mary Law Review. In September of 2002, James joined the U.S. Army Juge Advocate General’s Corps. He spent time serving as chief Army prosecutor for all U.S. Army personnel in Europe stationed South of the Alps. He represented individual military members in military courts in Italy, Germany and the United States. He also served as lead liaison between U.S. forces and the South Korean justice system. In July 2010, James joined our Office and began the rotation in the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section. He now serves in the Felony Unit of the General Crimes Section.
  • Michael Friedman — Michael is a 2004 graduate of Yale Law School. During law school, he was a finalist in the
    Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals. Following law school, he joined the Department of Justice’s Civil Division as a trial attorney in the honors program. After fours year, Michael moved to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland where he worked on civil matters. In March 2010, Michael started in our Office and was assigned to the Appellate Division. He has since rotated to the Misdemeanor Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section, where he handles a specialized caseload of sexual abuse and child physical abuse matters.
  • John Fucetola — John graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School in 2006. While in law school, he served as a student attorney in our Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section. After law school, John clerked for Judge Craig Iscoe of D.C. Superior Court. For the three years thereafter, he served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Prince George’s County. In December, John joined the Office and was assigned to the Appellate Division, where he is currently serving.
  • Javier Guzman — Javier graduated cum laude from Tulane Law School in 1991. He was elected to the Order of the Coif and was a member of the Moot Court Board among his many law school activities. Upon graduating, he joined Crowell & Moring LLP in D.C. From there, he moved to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. In 2006, Javier relocated to Florida and began his tenure with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Civil Division. Last year, Javier returned to the D.C. area and started with our Office in the Civil Division.
  • Andrea Hertzfeld — Andrea graduated from Harvard Law School in 2004. While in law school, she served as a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Since law school, Andrea has worked in several law firms prosecuting complex class actions on behalf of plaintiffs. Most recently, she worked an associate at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in Los Angeles. In December, Andrea relocated to D.C. and joined the Office. She was assigned to the Appellate Division, where she continues to practice.
  • Travis Hill — Travis is a 2005 graduate of the Washington University School of Law. While in law school, Travis spent a semester at the St. Louis County Public Defender’s Office in Clayton, Missouri. He also worked at the City of St. Louis Law Department. In 2006, Travis joined the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in Queens, New York where he remained until he started with our Office in January 2011. Travis is currently serving in our Appellate Division.
  • Matthew Jones — Matt graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2005. There, he was the notes editor for the Harvard Law Review and a teaching assistant for contracts among his many school activities. Following law school, Matt clerked for the Honorable W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then joined Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr in D.C. In May 2010, Matt began his tenure in our Office. He currently serves as Special Counsel to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.
  • Anton Jongeneel — Anton is a 2007 graduate of Columbia University Law School. In law school, he was a Harlan Fisk Stone Scholar and a member of the executive board of the Columbia Law School Student Senate. Following law school, Anton spent the summer serving as a consultant with the United States Marine Corps, Foreign Training Unit at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He then joined the Los Angeles Office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. In January 2010, Anton relocated to Washington D.C. and began his tenure with our Office. Initially, he was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section and spent time there
    handling a specialized caseload of sexual abuse and child physical abuse matters. Currently, Anton serves in the Felony Unit of the General Crimes Section.
  • Jonathan Kravis — Jonathan is a 2004 graduate of Yale Law School. In law school, he served as the articles editor for the Yale Law Journal in his third year (2003-04) and the editor of the Yale Law Journal in his second year (2002-03) among his many activities. Subsequently, Jonathan clerked for Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then went on to a clerkship with Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. After clerking, Jonathan joined Williams & Connolly LLP, where he remained until he joined our Office in November 2008 and began working in the Misdemeanor Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section. In 2009, Jonathan left to work in the White House. He returned to our Office in August, 2010 and resumed his work in the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section. He is currently serving in the Felony Unit of the General Crimes Section.
  • Peter Lallas — Peter graduated from New York University School of Law in 2004. There, he was a finalist in
    the Marden Moot Court Competition and participated in the federal defender clinic. After law school, Peter joined Hogan & Hartson in D.C. While at Hogan, Peter also taught as an adjunct professor of law at American University, Washington College of Law in the fall 2007. In July 2010, Peter joined our Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section. Peter has since moved to the Felony Unit of General Crimes Section, where he is currently serving.
  • Brandon Long — Brandon graduated cum laude from Duke University School of Law in 2005. After law school,
    he worked as an associate at King & Spalding here in Washington, where he specialized in corporate investigations and white-collar criminal litigation and represented indigent defendants in pro bono matters. In December, Brandon joined the Office and was assigned to the Appellate Division, where he is currently practicing.
  • Adrienne Moran — Adrienne graduated in the top 15% of her class from Howard University School of Law in 2008. Before law school, Adrienne attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she received a master’s degree. After law school, Adrienne worked as an associate at Alston & Bird, LLP in New York City. In December 2010, Adrienne joined our Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section, where she is currently practicing.
  • Clayton H. O’Connor — Clayton graduated cum laude from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 2005. He clerked for Judge H.F. Gierke on the Court of Appeals for the Armed
    Forces while in law school. After graduation, Clayton joined the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He served as a trial counsel and defense counsel and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. His last military assignment was as Senior Trial Counsel at Langley Air Force Base. In January 2011, Clayton joined our Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section, where he continues to practice.
  • Kenechukwu Okocha — Kene graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2007. While in law school, he served as Executive Director of the Black Law Students Association and interned for a summer with the Dane County District Attorney’s Office in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2008, Kene joined the Dane County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney, where he worked for the last two years prior to joining our Office in January 2011. Kene is currently practicing in our Appellate Division.
  • Allen O’Rourke — Allen graduated from Harvard Law School in 2008. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Anita Brody in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and then for Judge Allyson Duncan on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Raleigh, North Carolina. In January 2011, Allen joined our Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section, where he is currently practicing.
  • James Petkun — James graduated magna cum laude from Villanova University School of Law in 2007. In law
    school, James was managing editor of Villanova Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Thereafter, James joined the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Philadelphia. In 2009, he served as a clerk for Judge Michael M. Baylson of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In September 2010, James joined our Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section, where he currently practices.
  • Wendy Pohlhaus — Wendy was awarded her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 1990. Following law school, Wendy worked in the Dade County Public Defender’s Office for a few years before joining the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Miami, Florida. In 1998, Wendy joined the Department of Justice as a trial attorney with the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and did a detail with our Office. In 2003, Wendy began her appointment as an Assistant United States Attorney in our Office and served with distinction in various sections in the Office, including the Felony Trial Section, the Felony Major Crimes Section, the Community Prosecution/Grand Jury Section and the Federal Major Crimes Section. In 2009, Wendy left the
    Office for another stint at the Department of Justice’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section. But fortunately for us, Wendy returned to the Office in March 2010. She is currently serving as the Executive Assistant United States Attorney for External Affairs.
  • Clare Pozos — Clare graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2007. While in law school, she interned with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Following law school, Clare clerked for Judge Michael Baylson in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. For the last three years prior to joining our Office, Clare worked as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP here in Washington, where her practice focused on lobbying, ethics, and campaign finance laws. In November, 2010, Clare joined the Office and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section, where she continues to practice.
  • Addy Schmidt — Addy graduated summa cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in
    2003. After law school, Addy joined the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro LLP, where she worked until she began a clerkship with Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Thereafter, she returned to Dickstein Shapiro. In 2007, Addy became Judge Sullivan’s career law clerk and counsel, a position she held until joining our Office in January 2010. Addy is assigned to our Civil Division.
  • John Benjamin Schrader — Ben earned his Juris Doctor degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2009. Among his many law school activities, Ben was the Notes Development Editor for the Vanderbilt Law
    Review in his third year. While in law school, Ben was a summer intern in the Grand Jury Section of our Office. Following law school, Ben clerked for Judge Thomas A. Varlan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Ben joined our Office in October 2010 and has been assigned to our Appellate Division since his start date.
  • Philip Selden — Phil received his Juris Doctor degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 2007.
    Among his many accomplishments in law school, he was named a Harlan Fisk Stone Scholar. He also worked a semester at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. After law school, Phil joined the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP. While there, Phil served as a volunteer firefighter. In March 2010, Phil joined our Office and was assigned to the Appellate Division. Since then, he has rotated into the Misdemeanor Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section.
  • Jennifer Short — Jennifer graduated from University of Virginia School of Law in 1995. She was editor in chief
    of the Journal of Law & Politics in her third year. Following graduation, Jennifer clerked for United States District Court Judge James C. Turke in the Western District of Virginia. After her clerkship, Jennifer worked at Wiley, Rein & Felding in Washington, D.C. She then joined Holland & Knight, LLP as an associate and became a partner at the firm in 2003. In October 2010, Jennifer joined our Office and began working in our Civil Division.
  • Michael Spence — Michael graduated from New York University School of Law in 2003. While in law school, he worked in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. After graduation, Michael clerked for Judge Kessler on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He then worked as an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP and as a Counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, LLP, both here in Washington. Michael joined our Office in December 2010. He has served in the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section since his arrival.
  • Eric Zwicker — Eric graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006. After law school, Eric served as
    Assistant Attorney General in Connecticut and founded an organization dedicated to bringing investment services to low-income Americans. Most recently, Eric worked as an associate at Wiggin & Dana LLP in New Haven, Connecticut, where his practice focused on government investigations and white-collar criminal litigation. Eric joined the Office in November 2010 and was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section, where he continues to serve.

This story has been corrected to reflect that 34 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, not 33, were sworn in and not all Assistant U.S. Attorneys are prosecutors.

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One Comment

  1. Publius Novus says:

    Many of these AUSAs are not prosecutors. Many will spend their time defending Social Security appeals and Freedom of Information Act appeals, among other mundane matters. They are not prosecutors in either a criminal or civil sense.

 "Former Congressman Renzi’s streak of criminal activity was a betrayal of the public trust and abuse of the political process.” -- Mythili Raman, acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.