Tony West was appointed the Acting Associate Attorney General of the United States on March 9, 2012. Previously, he was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Division on January 22, 2009. He was confirmed as the head of the Civil Division by the U.S. Senate on April 20, 2009.
As the Acting Associate Attorney General, Mr. West's primary responsibility is to advise and assist the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in formulating and implementing Departmental policies, and programs related to a broad range of issues, including civil litigation, federal and local law enforcement and public safety. Mr. West, the third ranking official at the agency, oversees the Department's civil litigating components (Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division, Community Relations Service, Executive Office of U.S. Trustees, Office of Information Policy and Foreign Settlement Claims Commission) and grant-making components (Office of Justice Programs, Office on Violence Against Women and Community Oriented Policing Services).
In his capacity as Acting Associate Attorney General, Mr. West serves as the Co-Chair of the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico, the Vice Chair of the Steering Committee of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and the federal government's Chief FOIA Officer. He has taken an active role in leading the Department's response to the Deepwater Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, improving the federal government's relationship with Native American communities, raising awareness about intimate partner violence and enhancing collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement.
From April 2009 to March 2012, Mr. West served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, which is the largest litigating division in the Department of Justice. In addition to focusing on traditional areas of the Civil Division's work - such as representing the United States in legal challenges to congressional statutes, Administration policies and federal agency actions, as well as defending the President, Cabinet officers and other federal employees in lawsuits filed against them - Mr. West bolstered the Civil Division's affirmative civil enforcement efforts in areas such as health care fraud, mortgage fraud, procurement fraud and other civil actions to recover taxpayer money lost to fraud and abuse. Mr. West also emphasized the Civil Division's responsibility to bring civil and criminal actions to enforce the nation's consumer protection laws. During his tenure in the Civil Division, Mr. West served in various positions on the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, including Co-Chair of the Mortgage Fraud Working Group, the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group and the Consumer Protection Working Group.
Mr. West first served in the Department of Justice a year after graduating from law school. From 1993 through 1994, he served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General. From 1994 to 1999, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. West served as a state Special Assistant Attorney General in California.
Prior to returning to the Justice Department, Mr. West was a litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco.
Mr. West graduated with honors from Harvard College, where he served as publisher of the Harvard Political Review, and received his law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was elected President of the Stanford Law Review.
Updated: January 2013