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The White House

President Barack Obama Announces Key DOJ Appointees


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 22, 2009

President Barack Obama Announces Key DOJ Appointees

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced the following Department of Justice (DOJ) appointees: David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Division; Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for Criminal; and Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust.

President Barack Obama said, "I am grateful to have these distinguished individuals joining my administration, and I have the greatest confidence that their service will meet the highest standards of this department. The American people deserve to have faith that their Justice Department will keep them safe and uphold our most basic rights. This group has the depth of experience and integrity necessary to accomplish these goals."

The following announcements were made today:

David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security
Kris is Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Time Warner Inc., Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author or co-author of several works on national security law, including the treatise, National Security Investigations and Prosecutions (West 2007). From 2000 to 2003, Kris was Associate Deputy Attorney General, where his unclassified responsibilities included supervising the government's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), representing the Department of Justice at the National Security Council, briefing and testifying before Congress, and assisting the Attorney General in conducting oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community. He joined the Department of Justice as a prosecutor in 1992 through its Honors Program, and received the Exceptional Service award from both Attorney General John Ashcroft and Attorney General Janet Reno.

Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Division
West is a litigation partner whose trial practice includes representing both individuals and companies in civil and criminal matters. A former federal prosecutor and California special assistant attorney general, West has been counsel in several high-profile litigation matters in both federal and state court. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. West served in both the U.S. Department of Justice and the California Department of Justice. West has served as lead trial counsel in a variety of jury trials. As an Assistant United States Attorney, he led a team of FBI and U.S. Customs agents in the investigation and successful prosecution of one of the nation's largest Internet child pornography/molestation crime rings. In 2006, Lawdragon chose Mr. West as one of its "New Stars" and The Daily Journal named him one of California's "Top 20 Lawyers Under 40" in 2004. A frequent public speaker and legal commentator, Mr. West has often appeared as a legal analyst for CNN-Headline News, ESPN, CBS-5, and other media networks on a variety of legal, political, and constitutional issues.

Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for Criminal
Breuer, co-chair of Covington's White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group, specializes in white collar criminal and complex civil litigation, internal corporate investigations, congressional investigations, antitrust cartel proceedings, and other matters involving high-profile legal, political, and public relations risks. Breuer represents corporations and individuals across a broad array of subject matters including corporate accountability, fraud and abuse, securities investigations and litigation, food and drug regulation, medical device health and safety, antitrust, conflicts of interest, environmental crimes, foreign corrupt practices, national security, and export controls. Breuer has been recognized as a leading litigator, including being named a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Washingtonian Magazine recently described Breuer as "one of the cleverest in Washington." Previously, Breuer was Special Counsel to President Clinton (1997 to 1999) and began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan under District Attorney Robert Morgenthau (1985 to 1989).

Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust
Varney has extensive experience in antitrust issues. Through her time both inside and outside of government, she has worked to foster vigorous competition and has led the way in taking new approaches and utilizing newer theories, particularly in technology markets. While an FTC Commissioner, Varney pioneered the application of innovation market theory analysis to transactions in both electronic high technology and biotechnology. She also focused her efforts on healthcare issues, vigorously enforcing the antitrust laws in that industry, while also encouraging the government agencies to be more receptive to innovative delivery modes and models. She is the author of an important antitrust opinion In the Matter of International Conference Interpreters, in which she concluded that certain practices were in fact price and non-price restraints. Her approach was hailed as both practical and innovative. Varney has won recognition from several leading commentators including Global Competition Review, Chambers USA, and International Who' Who of Competition Lawyers. She is cited as a one of the "Super Lawyers" of Washington DC in 2008. Varney received her J.D., from Georgetown University Law Center in 1986; her M.P.A. from Syracuse University in 1978; and her B.A. fromThe State University of New York, University at Albany in1977.

THE WHITE HOUSE, January 22, 2009.

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