Spokane Native Vanessa R. Waldref To Be Sworn in as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington
US Department of Justice
SPOKANE – On October 7, 2021, Vanessa R. Waldref will be sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. In a ceremony that will be held on Thursday afternoon, Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian will administer the oath of office to U.S. Attorney Waldref, making her the chief law enforcement officer for the Eastern District. U.S.
Attorney Waldref was nominated by President Biden on July 26, 2021, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 30, 2021. She will be the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District.
U.S. Attorney Waldref said, “It is an honor and privilege to serve as United States Attorney and to lead an Office of dedicated public servants who work every day to pursue justice and build a safe and strong community in Eastern Washington. I look forward to working closely with our federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners to fulfill the mission of the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to investigate and prosecute the most serious offenders in our community, and will work tirelessly to protect the people of this District from violent crime, child exploitation, fraud, corruption, drug trafficking, and environmental degradation.”
U.S. Attorney Waldref has spent the majority of her legal career in the Department of Justice. Since 2013, she has served as an Assistant United States Attorney and as a Trial Attorney with the Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. An expert on regulatory, employment, and environmental law, U.S. Attorney Waldref has taught a number of courses at the Gonzaga University Law School as an adjunct professor. She has won numerous awards for her teaching and mentorship of law students, including the prestigious Myra Bradwell Woman of the Year award in 2021.
Prior to joining the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Waldref was in private practice at law firms in Spokane and Washington, D.C., where she specialized in complex litigation and labor and employment law. She began her legal career as a law clerk to United States District Judge John D. Bates in the District of Columbia. After graduating as valedictorian from Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, she went on to graduate magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa at Georgetown University and magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from the Georgetown University Law School. She is proud to have been born and raised in Northeast Spokane.