Remarks as prepared for delivery
Good afternoon. Welcome to the 66th Annual Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony. I am the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. It is a great privilege for me to serve as the emcee for this important event.
Today, we gather to express our gratitude to an exceptional group of Department of Justice employees, and to honor people from outside the Department who put service before self to support our mission.
We are honored to be joined by many family members, friends, and colleagues of the award recipients. The remarkable achievements that we celebrate today required a lot of talent, and they also took a lot of time and effort.
A large share of the credit is due to those of you who supported the recipients throughout their lives in the developing the talent, and more recently as they devoted the time and effort. We are grateful for your support.
At this time, I ask that you please rise for the presentation of the colors by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington, and the national anthem performed by the United States Army Brass Quintet.
Please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen, let us express our appreciation to the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard and the United States Army Brass Quintet.
I am accompanied on this grand stage by some of the Department’s senior leaders. Other senior department officials join us in the audience.
The leaders on stage will assist in presenting awards to employees in their respective components.
I invite each official on stage to stand when introduced. For the audience, please hold your applause until all introductions are made.
With us today are:
- Brian Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division;
- Stephen Boyd, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs;
- Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division;
- John Demers, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division;
- Steven Engel, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel;
- Noel Francisco, Solicitor General;
- Michael Horowitz, Inspector General;
- Jody Hunt, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division;
- Phil Keith, Director, Community Oriented Policing Services;
- Lee Lofthus, Assistant Attorney General for Administration, Justice Management Division, who will also serve as the narrator for today’s ceremony;
- Clifford White, Director, U.S. Trustee Program;
- Christopher Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation;
- David Anderson, Acting Deputy Director, U.S. Marshals Service;
- Thomas Brandon, Deputy Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;
- Representing the Drug Enforcement Administration is Greg Cherundolo. Acting Administrator, Uttam Dhillon, will join us later in the program;
- John Gore, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division;
- Hugh Hurwitz, Acting Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons;
- Jeffrey Wood, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division; and
- Richard Zuckerman, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division
Please give these exceptional leaders, and all of our components, a big a round of applause.
We are also privileged to have with us today:
- Charles Rettig, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service
We are also joined by several United States Attorneys whose employees are being honored. It is my pleasure to introduce them.
Again, please hold your applause until I have introduced all of those present on stage.
With us today are:
- Kurt Alme, District of Montana;
- Geoffrey Berman, Southern District of New York;
- Richard Donoghue, Eastern District of New York;
- Timothy Garrison, Western District of Missouri;
- Benjamin Glassman, Southern District of Ohio;
- Nick Hanna, Central District of California;
- Annette Hayes, Western District of Washington;
- Justin Herdman, Northern District of Ohio;
- Robert Hur, District of Maryland;
- Jessie Liu, District of Columbia;
- Maria Chapa Lopez, Middle District of Florida;
- Mcgregor Scott, Eastern District of California; and
- Zachary Terwilliger, Eastern District of Virginia
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our United States Attorneys.
A few months ago, on law day, President Trump explained that in the United States, “we govern ourselves in accordance with the rule of law rather than according to the whims of an elite few or the dictates of collective will. Through law, we have ensured liberty. We should not … take that success for granted.”
The President’s words are of central importance to the Department of Justice, because the rule of law in America depends on the character of the people who enforce the law.
All executive branch employees take the same oath. The first clause requires us to “support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Everyone is familiar with that duty.
But some overlook the final clause: a promise to “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”
The first obligation is general. It imposes a duty to pursue the national interest over any personal interest. That applies equally to every government employee.
But the final clause is specific. Everyone recites the same words, but the meaning varies. In order to well and faithfully discharge the duties of “the office,” you need to understand your unique responsibilities. What is the mandate of your agency; what is the mission of your component; and how do you add value?
You need to know what you stand for.
In 1940, Attorney General Robert Jackson spoke eloquently about what our Department stands for. He said that “the citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches [the] task with humility.”
If you follow that advice, you will remain faithful to our mission.
The mission attracted me to work in this Department, but what I treasure most are the people who faithfully carry out the mission.
I am grateful for your service, and I am honored to work with you in the cause of justice.
So at this time, please join me in welcoming Assistant Attorney General Lee Lofthus to begin the award presentations.