Dec. 1, 2008

University Trustee Eric Holder, a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, has been named by President-elect Barack Obama, himself a Columbia alumnus, to be nominated as the next attorney general of the United States.

Barack Obama at the ServiceNation Presidential Forum, held on Sept. 11, 2008 in Roone Arledge Auditorium.

Holder (CC'73, Law'76) is the first African American and second consecutive Columbia graduate to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer. He succeeds Michael Mukasey (CC'63), who has been attorney general since 2007, and was previously a U.S. District Judge on the Southern District of New York for 18 years.

"The Columbia community is proud to congratulate Eric Holder on his nomination to be the 82nd Attorney General of the United States," said Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger. He lauded Holder's many years of public service, which include stints as a former deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, as well as acting attorney general, judge and prosecutor.

Holder's first job after graduating from Columbia Law School was at the U.S. Justice Department, where he was assigned to the newly formed Public Integrity Section. He later was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, a post he held for five years before joining the Clinton administration.

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Holder currently is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Covington & Burling L.L.P. He has been a University trustee since March 2007. "Eric Holder is a widely respected alumnus who has also served the University community as an actively engaged member of our Board of Trustees," Bollinger added. "His career has exemplified our commitment to educating young people for the responsibilities of active citizenship and public service to our nation and our world."

With his confirmation, Holder would become the third graduate of Columbia College to attain a top public office over the past year. In addition to President-elect Obama (CC'83), New York Gov. David A. Paterson graduated from Columbia College in 1977.

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