News Releases

Nick Brown of Seattle is the first African American U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington

Vanessa Waldref is the first female U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) hailed the Senate’s confirmation of Nick Brown as U.S. Attorney in the Western District and Vanessa Waldref as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. President Biden appointed Mr. Brown and Ms. Waldref at the recommendation of Senators Murray and Cantwell earlier this year. Both were confirmed unanimously by voice vote.

“I’m thrilled to see the Senate confirm these two historic and highly qualified candidates for Washington’s Western and Eastern District Attorneys,” said Senator Murray “Both of them have already demonstrated an outstanding commitment to public service, and they will continue to play critical roles on a range of different legal issues, from racial justice to climate change, and more.  I know both of these historic appointees have the experience and perspective needed to face these challenges head on, and I am confident that they will work diligently to pursue justice for the people of our state.”

“I congratulate Vanessa Waldref and Nick Brown on their historic confirmations to become U.S. District Attorneys for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington. Vanessa Waldref will be the first female District Attorney for Eastern Washington, and Nick Brown will be the first African American to serve in the position for Western Washington. They are both highly-qualified individuals, dedicated to enforcing the rule of law and civil rights, who will represent the diversity of our state in the federal courts,” said Senator Cantwell.

Mr. Brown, a graduate of Harvard Law School and Morehouse College, is currently a partner at Pacifica Law Group and previously served as General Counsel to Governor Inslee. Prior to that, Mr. Brown served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Seattle, where he appeared before every federal judge in the Western District of Washington and prosecuted over 100 individual cases. Mr. Brown has significant experience in key matters, including criminal justice policy, marijuana regulation, and a track record of working collaboratively with Washington state’s sovereign native tribes, as well as deep community ties in the Western District. Mr. Brown is the first African American to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Western District.

Ms. Waldref, a graduate of Georgetown Law and a native and current resident of Spokane, is currently a Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice Environment & Natural Resource Division. She has been a career prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District, where she has handled a broad variety of civil and criminal matters that impact the state of Washington, forged strong relationships with regional stakeholders and Indian Country, and developed a deep understanding of local issues such as the federally-owned Hanford nuclear site. Ms. Waldref is the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District.