Skip to main content
Press Release

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Masselam Strachan Named 2023 Most Outstanding Assistant U.S. Attorney by National Committee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Amanda P. Masselam Strachan, Co-Chief of United States Attorney Rollins’ Criminal Division, has been selected by the National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA) as the recipient of its 2023 J. Michael Bradford Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Assistant United States Attorney. 

Photo of Amanda Strachan


Each year, the distinguished J. Michael Bradford Memorial Award is awarded to one AUSA in the nation in recognition of outstanding performance. The recipient is selected for their remarkable handling of a significant investigation and prosecution(s) that has had a significant impact and merits special recognition. AUSA Strachan is the sixth woman to be awarded this honor since its inception in 1999.

“AUSA Strachan is an outstanding lawyer, a fierce advocate on behalf of victims, and a leader among leaders in our District and the legal community. Her acumen, compassion and dedication are evident in every case she has prosecuted over the course of her 16-year career as an AUSA, but her decade-long role in pursuing justice for the 793 victims of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis outbreak makes her uniquely deserving of this exceptional honor,” said U.S. Attorney Rollins. 

In the fall of 2012, a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis infected patients in 20 states. The CDC and FDA traced the fungal infections to contaminated steroid injections (MPA) produced by NECC, a compounding pharmacy then located in Massachusetts. NECC had sold and shipped more than 17,000 vials of contaminated MPA to medical facilities throughout the nation. The CDC identified staggering amounts of contamination within these supposedly sterile vials of MPA, which doctors injected into patients’ bodies to treat back and joint pain. NECC’s contaminated drugs infected at least 793 individuals and caused more than 100 of them to die. 

The fungal meningitis outbreak is the largest public health crisis ever caused by a compounded drug. AUSA Strachan and her team conducted a thorough investigation which uncovered evidence of widespread systemic fraud at NECC and a shocking disregard for patients’ lives. The investigation discovered dangerously unsafe production practices and unsanitary conditions inside NECC’s facility. 

In December 2014, 14 NECC owners, employees and executives were indicted on numerous counts, including RICO, RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the FDA, mail fraud, structuring, and FDCA violations. Between 2017-2019, AUSA Strachan led four trials against the defendants (totaling 24 weeks), and four other defendants pleaded guilty. In total, 13 defendants were convicted of 168 counts. Additionally, AUSA Strachan won four affirmative appeals in this case before the First Circuit to ensure full accountability for the defendants and complete recognition for all 793 victims. 

AUSA Strachan’s tireless advocacy on the victims’ behalf went beyond the courtroom; she successfully lobbied the Office of Victims of Crime to recognize the fungal meningitis victims as crime victims and helped secure for them a $40 million federal contribution to the Victims of Violent Crimes Compensation Fund. In the face of this unprecedented national tragedy, AUSA Strachan’s steadfast commitment to holding the wrongdoers accountable secured a measure of justice for the victims and their families and shined a light on the abuses of the compounding pharmacy industry. 

“As brilliant and tenacious as she is as a lawyer, AUSA Strachan also has demonstrated that she is an exceptional leader. She inspired and empowered a team of AUSAs, legal assistants, victim specialists, and other professionals to do their best work on behalf of these victims. Her impressive mentoring and management skills led me to promote her to Co-Chief of our Criminal Division, making her only the second woman ever appointed to lead the Criminal Division,” said U.S. Attorney Rollins. 

AUSA Strachan is a two-time recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service (2013, 2019) and received EOUSA’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team in 2020. In 2019, AUSA Strachan was named a Top Woman of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Updated March 17, 2023