Meet the U.S. Attorney
Vanessa R. Waldref
Vanessa R. Waldref became the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington on October 7, 2021. U.S. Attorney Waldref was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on July 26, 2021, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on September 30, 2021. Ms. Waldref is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of any federal criminal case brought within the 20 counties of Eastern Washington. The Office also represents the United States in all civil matters brought within this territory.
Ms. Waldref is a native of Spokane with deep roots in Eastern Washington. Ms. Waldref served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington from 2013 to 2020, handling a wide variety of civil and criminal cases. Most recently, U.S. Attorney Waldref served as a Trial Attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice where she litigated cases in federal courts around the country arising under a range of environmental protection statutes. Since 2015, Ms. Waldref has taught courses in Environmental Law, Labor & Employment Law, and Conflict of Laws at Gonzaga University School of Law.
Prior to her time at the Department of Justice, Ms. Waldref was a litigation associate at two Spokane-based law firms, Lee & Hayes and Lukins & Annis. She began her legal career as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster in Washington, DC. U.S. Attorney Waldref also served as a law clerk for The Honorable John D. Bates on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
After graduating from Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, WA, U.S. Attorney Waldref received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2002, and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2008.