As the Associate Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, Tom Perrelli has a wide range of responsibilities. As the third ranking official at the agency, Mr. Perrelli oversees what are traditionally described as the Department’s “civil” litigating components, on issues ranging from civil rights and the environment to antitrust and taxation. Mr. Perrelli’s management portfolio also includes a number of Department components, including the Office of Tribal Justice, the Office of Justice Programs and the Office on Violence Against Women, which provide resources and grants to tribal communities.
Mr. Perrelli has extensive experience working with tribal communities across the country. In the Reno Justice Department, he played a leading role on tribal issues, and when he returned to the Department, he committed to transforming the Department’s commitment to the Native American communities it serves. He was recently honored by the National Congress of American Indians with their award for governmental leadership.
Mr. Perrelli also oversees much of the Department’s work supporting state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts. Law enforcement is a collaborative effort, and the Department of Justice distributes billions of dollars in federal support to help law enforcement agencies hire additional police officers, get the equipment they need, and better understand the challenges they face. Mr. Perrelli has the responsibility for making sure that the money is spent wisely and well.
This is Mr. Perrelli’s sixth tour at the Department of Justice. After graduating from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, where he served as Managing Editor to then-Law Review President Barack Obama on the Harvard Law Review, and several years in private practice, Mr. Perrelli came to the Department in 1997 as counsel to then-Attorney General Janet Reno. In 1999, he was named Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department’s Civil Division. He left the Department in 2001, returning to private practice, and became the Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office of the national litigation firm of Jenner & Block LLP.
Although nominally in private practice at the time, Mr. Perrelli continued to use his legal career to serve the public, winning the law firm’s Albert E. Jenner award for pro bono service. In 2005, the National Law Journal named him one of the top 40 lawyers in the country under the age of 40, and he has been recognized by Chambers & Partners USA as one of the leading media and entertainment lawyers in the United States and by the Washington Business Journal as the best intellectual property lawyer in Washington, D.C. Most recently, in June 2011, the National Law Journal named Perrelli one of the legal community’s Champions & Visionaries.