Columbia Law School Alumnus Eric Holder Is Next Attorney General

Senate Confirms Obama Nominee in 75-21 Vote

New York, February 2, 2009 — The U.S. Senate today confirmed Columbia Law School alumnus Eric H. Holder Jr. ’76 as U.S. attorney general in a 75-21 vote. Holder will serve as the 82nd attorney general.

“This is a very exciting day for Columbia, and we congratulate our distinguished alumnus, Eric Holder,” said David M. Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. “His commitment to our institution and to public service is a source of pride and inspiration.”
Holder, currently a litigation partner at the law firm Covington & Burling, has held a number of prominent positions in government. After graduating from Columbia College in 1973 and Columbia Law School in 1976, he served as a prosecutor for 12 years in the Justice Department’s Public Integrity section, prosecuting misconduct by state officials, judges, F.B.I. agents and a federal prosecutor.  In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the bench as judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  Five years later, President Bill Clinton appointed him United States attorney for the District of Columbia.  Holder was appointed in 1997 to the position of deputy attorney general of the United States under Janet Reno. 
Holder’s community activities include service on the boards of Columbia University, the Meyer Foundation and Save the Children, and long-time membership in the organization Concerned Black Men.
Holder has received numerous awards and honorary degrees and is featured in The Best Lawyers in America 2007. He was profiled in the June 2008 issue of The American Lawyer and was recognized as one of "The Most 50 Influential Minority Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal. He has also been identified by Legal Times as one of the "Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years."

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.