Mr. Holder is a litigation partner who handles, among other matters, complex civil and criminal cases, domestic and international advisory matters and internal corporate investigations.
During his professional career, Mr. Holder has held a number of significant positions in government. Upon graduating from Columbia Law School, he moved to Washington, DC and joined the Department of Justice as part of the Attorney General's Honors Program. He was assigned to the newly formed Public Integrity Section in 1976 and was tasked to investigate and prosecute official corruption on the local, state and federal levels. While at the Public Integrity Section, Mr. Holder participated in a number of prosecutions and appeals involving such defendants as the Treasurer of the state of Florida, the Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, a local judge in Philadelphia, an Assistant United States Attorney in New York City, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a "capo" in an organized crime family in Pennsylvania.
In 1988, Mr. Holder was nominated by President Reagan to become an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was confirmed by the Senate and his investiture occurred in October of that year. Over the next five years, Judge Holder presided over hundreds of civil and criminal trials and matters. Many of the trials involved homicides and other crimes of violence.
In 1993, President Clinton nominated Mr. Holder to become the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He was confirmed later that year and served as the head of the largest United States Attorneys office in the nation for nearly four years. He was the first black person to serve in that position. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Holder created a Domestic Violence Unit to more effectively handle those types of tragic cases, implemented a community prosecution project to work hand in hand with residents and local government agencies in order to make neighborhoods safer, supported a renewed enforcement emphasis on hate crimes so that criminal acts of intolerance would be severely punished, developed a comprehensive strategy to improve the manner in which agencies handled cases involving the abuse of children, launched a community outreach program to reconnect the U.S. Attorney's office with the citizens it serves, revitalized the Victim/Witness Assistance Program to better serve those individuals who were directly affected by crime and developed "Operation Ceasefire," an initiative designed to reduce violent crime by getting guns out of the hands of criminals.
In 1997, President Clinton appointed Mr. Holder to serve as Deputy Attorney General, the number two position in the United States Department of Justice. He became the first African-American to serve as Deputy Attorney General. Mr. Holder briefly served under President Bush as Acting Attorney General pending the confirmation of Attorney General John Ashcroft.
As Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Holder supervised all of the Department's litigating, enforcement, and administrative components in both civil and criminal matters. Under his guidance, the Department developed and issued its guidelines on the criminal prosecution of corporations (the so called "Holder Memorandum") and issued guidelines on the use of the False Claims Act in civil health care matters. A task force he created also developed the existing regulation concerning the appointment of special counsels to investigate allegations involving high-level federal officials. He began the Department's Children Exposed to Violence Initiative and made Department priorities enforcement efforts in health care fraud, computer crimes and software piracy. Mr. Holder successfully worked to fund and expand nationwide the concept of community prosecution which seeks to connect more directly prosecutors with the citizens they serve. At the request of the President, Mr. Holder began and directed Lawyers for One America a multi-agency, public/private partnership designed to diversify the legal profession and to increase the amount of pro bono work done by the nation's attorneys. As Deputy Attorney General Mr. Holder was at that time the highest-ranking black person in law enforcement in the history of the United States.
Mr. Holder's community activities include service on a number of philanthropic boards including, Columbia University, the Meyer Foundation, Save the Children, and his long time membership in the organization Concerned Black Men, a group that seeks to help the youth of the District of Columbia with problems ranging from teenage pregnancy to sub-par academic achievement. He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees and is featured in The Best Lawyers in America 2007. Mr. Holder was profiled in the June 2008 issue of The American Lawyer and was recognized as one of "The Most 50 Influential Minority Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal. He has also been identified by Legal Times as one of the "Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years."
He has also served on the board of MCI prior to and during its merger with Verizon. Mr. Holder was a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission Ad Hoc Advisory Group that examined, and made recommendations to revise, the organizational sentencing guidelines and was Chairman of Eastman Kodak's External Diversity Advisory Panel.
Mr. Holder was born in New York City. He attended public schools there, graduating from Stuyvesant High School where he earned a Regents Scholarship. He attended Columbia College, majored in American History, and graduated in 1973. Mr. Holder then attended Columbia Law School from which he graduated in 1976. While in law school, he clerked at the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense Fund and the Department of Justice's Criminal Division. Mr. Holder lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, an obstetrician, and their three children.