Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft today announced that Viet D. Dinh, Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy, will step down from his position to return to the Georgetown University Law Center when his leave of absence from that institution expires on May 31, 2003.

“Viet brought a brilliant legal mind, boundless energy and tremendous loyalty to a very difficult job,” said Ashcroft. “His contributions to the Department and to the security of all Americans following September 11th are impossible to measure. I will miss his wise counsel, but look forward to continuing our friendship.”

“I thank President Bush for the honor of helping him protect the liberty and security of the American people and Attorney General Ashcroft for the confidence he vested in me. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to repay, in small measure, the debt that my family and I owe to America and her people,” Dinh said. “Most of all, I thank my colleagues in the Office of Legal Policy and the men and women of Justice. I will treasure my time with them.”

As the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy since May 31, 2001, Dinh contributed to a number of policy initiatives of high priority to the Department and the Administration, particularly in the aftermath of September 11th. He played a key role in drafting and implementing the USA PATRIOT Act, landmark legislation that provided the law enforcement and intelligence communities with necessary tools to fight the war against terrorism. Dinh also spearheaded the revision of the Attorney General’s Guidelines, which govern the conduct of federal law enforcement activities and national security investigations.

Dinh represented the Department of Justice in the process of selecting and confirming judges to the federal bench, securing the confirmation of 23 United States Court of Appeals and 100 District Court judges in the past two years.

Before joining the Department of Justice, Dinh, 35, was Professor of Law and Deputy Director of Asian Law and Policy Studies at the Georgetown University Law Center. As an academic, he specializes in constitutional law, corporations law, and the law and economics of development. He was a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He served as Associate Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Whitewater Committee, as Special Counsel to Senator Pete V. Domenici for the Impeachment Trial of the President, and as counsel to the Special Master in In re Austrian and German Bank Holocaust Litigation.