Women Appointed to Key Department of Justice Positions

President-elect Barack Obama announced his intention yesterday to appoint Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General and Dawn Johnson to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Justice. In a statement, Obama noted “these individuals bring the integrity, depth of experience and tenacity that the Department of Justice demands in these uncertain times.” As part of the announcement, David Ogden was also named as the next Deputy Attorney General and Tom Perrelli as the next Associate Attorney General.

Currently, Kagan is the Dean of Harvard Law School and the first woman to hold that position. Upon confirmation by the Senate, she would also be the first woman to hold the post of US Solicitor General, according to the Boston Globe. Prior to her tenure at Harvard, Kagan served in several positions within the Clinton White House and clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Johnson is currently a professor of law at Indiana University and has been working with the Obama/Biden transition team for the Office of Legal Counsel. According to the Washington Post she will lead the Office of Legal Counsel in her new position if confirmed. She also served in the Clinton White House and was the legal director at NARAL Pro-Choice America for five years.


Obama/Biden Transition Press Release 1/5/09; Boston Globe 1/6/09; Washington Post 1/5/09

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