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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

U.S. Attorney Ortiz Announces Creation of the Office of Public Affairs and External Engagement

BOSTON – United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announced today the creation of the Office of Public Affairs and External Engagement (OPAEE).  The new executive level Office will be led by Christina DiIorio-Sterling who Ortiz appointed as Chief.

“I am thrilled to announce the creation of the Office of Public Affairs and External Engagement,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz.  “Effective public communication and active community engagement are critical to the success of our public safety mission.  OPAEE bridges the gap between the courtroom and the public, enhancing the Office’s ability to anticipate, respond and provide assistance to the public and media.”

During Ortiz’s tenure, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has worked to increase public safety through expanded community outreach and engagement.  Among other things, Ortiz’s Office has been in local communities fostering communication and positive messaging to youth through the Your Future, Your Decision program in schools.  The Office has also led monthly roundtables with the BRIDGES Collaborative (Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity) and expanded outreach efforts to address discrimination in underserved communities.  The Office has also become a leader in strategic planning for the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals helping support their efforts to lead successful and productive lives upon release. 

The OPAEE will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of these efforts by housing them together in a single executive-level unit led by a member of Ortiz’s senior management team.  It will also enhance relationships with the law enforcement community by offering training on emerging trends of criminal activity and officer safety, as well as partnership for grant funding.  Finally, it will oversee the work of the Office’s skilled and dedicated victim witness coordinators, who provide critical assistance to victims and witnesses in federal cases that range from white collar crime and terrorism to child exploitation and human trafficking. 

As Chief of the OPAEE, DiIorio-Sterling, who will continue to serve as the U.S. Attorney’s Office primary spokesperson and advisor to the U.S. Attorney, will supervise a professional staff of public information officers, community relations coordinators, outreach specialists, victim witness advocates, and reentry and law enforcement engagement staff.  She will also oversee policymaking and long-range planning in communications strategy, victim witness matters, outreach programs, effective prevention and reentry programs, and cooperative relationships with law enforcement partners.

“I am confident that the OPAEE will enable the U.S. Attorney’s Office to enhance our work both inside and outside of the courtroom,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz.  “Our staff of experienced and dedicated professionals with expertise in media relations, law enforcement coordination, and victim-witness services, will work cooperatively with legal colleagues and law enforcement partners in our common pursuit of justice for all Americans.”

Topic(s): 
Office and Personnel Updates
Component(s): 
Updated July 12, 2016