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

Vanessa Waldref will be 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) released the following statements after President Joe Biden announced he will appoint Nick Brown as U.S. Attorney in the Western District and Vanessa Waldref as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. Senators Murray and Cantwell had recommended Brown and Waldref for the positions earlier this year.

“I’m glad to see President Biden follow our recommendation and appoint these two highly-qualified and deserving candidates for Washington’s Western and Eastern District Attorneys,” Senator Murray said. “Nick and Vanessa have already served their country, their state, and their communities with distinction, and I know they will continue to do so. As U.S. Attorneys in Washington state, they will play critical roles in confronting challenges ranging from racial injustice and police reform, to the threat of white supremacy, key climate and environmental matters, and much more. I’m confident that they have the experience, insight, and leadership needed to face our toughest challenges, promote equity, and affirm justice for people across our state.”

“I applaud President Biden's nominations of the first African American U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington and the first female U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. Vanessa Waldref and Nick Brown are both highly-qualified. They will vigorously enforce federal law and our Constitutional rights. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to support their confirmations,” Senator Cantwell said.

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, 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. 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. If appointed, Brown would be the first African American to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Western District.

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. If appointed, Waldref would be the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District.  

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