WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today welcomed the confirmation of James Cole, as Deputy Attorney General; Lisa Monaco, as Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and Virginia Seitz, as Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel. All three were confirmed today by the U.S. Senate.
“I am pleased the Senate moved to confirm Jim, Lisa and Virginia, following their appointments by President Obama,” said Attorney General Holder. “I’m confident they will provide invaluable leadership to the department, and will play a critical role in protecting the American people, ensuring the fairness and integrity of our financial markets and restoring the traditional missions of the department.”
Cole, who has been serving as Deputy Attorney General since Jan. 3, 2011, first joined the department in 1979 as part of Attorney General’s Honors Program and served there for 13 years – first as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division, and later as the Deputy Chief of the Division’s Public Integrity Section.
He entered private practice in 1992, becoming a partner with Bryan Cave LLP in 1995, specializing in white collar defense. He served as a court-appointed independent monitor to businesses to establish and oversee corporate compliance programs and ensure they adhere to laws and regulations. He also counseled businesses on securities, regulatory and criminal law issues.
In 2005, Cole was appointed to serve as an independent monitor at the insurance company AIG to review five years of transactions following a settlement with regulators involving allegations the company was setting up sham transactions to hide losses. His role there led to another appointment involving AIG in 2006, in which he was charged with developing financial reporting and regulatory compliance programs.
Cole has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching courses on public corruption law and legal ethics, and has lectured at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a former chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) White Collar Crime Committee and serves as the first vice-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section.
He received his B.A. from the University of Colorado and his J.D. from the University of California-Hastings.
Most recently, Monaco served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, where she was the Deputy Attorney General’s primary advisor on a broad range of criminal, national security and civil matters. Prior to joining the Deputy Attorney General’s office, Monaco was the chief of staff to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. Monaco also served as special counsel to Director Mueller. Monaco initially joined the FBI on detail from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
From 2001 to 2007, Monaco served as a federal prosecutor. She was appointed to the Enron Task Force, serving as a co-lead trial counsel in the prosecution of five former executives of Enron Broadband Services. For her work on the Enron Task Force, Monaco received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Justice Department’s highest award.
Monaco served as counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno from 1998 to 2001, providing advice and guidance on national security, law enforcement, budget and oversight issues.
Before joining the department, Monaco clerked for the Honorable Jane R. Roth, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and her B.A. from Harvard University.
Seitz most recently worked as a partner in Sidley Austin LLP’s Washington, D.C. office, where she focused on appellate litigation before the federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Seitz has over 20 years of litigation experience and has worked on more than 100 Supreme Court briefs and petitions for certiorari and hundreds of filings in lower courts. She was the counsel of record on the amicus brief filed on behalf of retired military officers in Grutter v. Bollinger, which was cited by the Supreme Court in the oral argument and opinion in that case.
Before joining private practice, Seitz clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Associate Justice William J. Brennan of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1995 until 2000, she served on the board of directors of the Congressional Office of Compliance, which promulgates regulations and adjudicates disputes concerning legislative branch employees under the Congressional Accountability Act.
She received a B.A., summa cum laude, from Duke University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and holds a J.D. from Buffalo Law School, where she graduated first in her class.