Carmen M. Ortiz was nominated by President Barack Obama, as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009. She is the first Hispanic and the first woman to represent Massachusetts as U.S. Attorney. She oversees the work of more than 200 attorneys and support staff in Boston, Worcester and Springfield.
In 2010, she implemented the District’s first civil rights initiative, aimed at reinvigorating enforcement efforts of federal civil rights laws and increasing visibility among affected communities through extensive community outreach efforts. During her tenure as U.S. Attorney, Ms. Ortiz has overseen the criminal prosecution of corrupt Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, and currently the prosecution in the Boston Marathon bombing. Additionally, she has led the District of Massachusetts to some of the largest civil settlements in U.S. history, including that of health care giant, GlaxoSmithKline. In addition, Ms. Ortiz serves on Attorney General Eric Holder’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). She is also the Chair of the AGAC’s Healthcare Fraud Working Group and a member of the AGAC’s sub-committee on Civil Rights and White Collar Crime.
Prior to becoming U.S. Attorney, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Economic Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Massachusetts), and also served as Grand Jury Supervisor. Ms. Ortiz also served for eight years as a state prosecutor, in Middlesex County, where she oversaw the District Court, and prosecuted homicides, sexual assaults, robberies and other felony cases.
In addition to her public service, Ms. Ortiz was a senior trial attorney at the law firm of Morisi & Associates, P.C., concentrating on civil, criminal, and governmental agency litigation. She also was a Program Associate and Training Coordinator at the Harvard Law School’s Center for Criminal Justice (1989-1991). There she worked on the Harvard/Guatemala Criminal Justice Project, which entailed collaborating with the judiciary of Guatemala and other professionals to implement criminal justice reforms. In 1991, on behalf of the National Football League, Ms. Ortiz investigated allegations of sexual harassment made by a sportswriter against the New England Patriots. In 1992, she was part of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee team that investigated “October Surprise”, the Congressional inquiry into allegations that the 1980 Reagan-Bush presidential campaign delayed the release of 52 Americans held hostage by Iran.
Ms. Ortiz is a graduate of George Washington University Law School (J.D.) and Adelphi University (B.B.A.).
Awards and honors include: 2013: New England Women’s Leadership Award; 100 Most Influential People for the Hispanic Community of Massachusetts, El Planeta Newspaper. 2012: Community Service Award, Mass. Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers; Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, New England Law | Boston and Adelphi University; Latina of the Year, El Mundo Newspaper; Bostonian of the Year, The Boston Globe; Pinnacle Award Honoree, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Network. 2011: First One Award, ACCESS; Outstanding Contributions to the Community, Beth Israel Deaconess; Las Primeras Award for Exemplary Achievement, Mass. Association of Hispanic Attorneys; 100 Most Influential People for the Hispanic Community of Mass., El Planeta Newspaper. 2010: President’s Award, Women in Federal Law Enforcement Foundation; J. William Fulbright Distinguished Public Service Award, George Washington University Law School; Pioneering Women of Color Award, Mass. Women’s Bar Association.