Vanessa Avery Sworn in as US Attorney for District of CT

Vanessa Roberts Avery, 47, of West Hartford, was sworn in on Monday as the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut by Chief US District Judge Stefan Underhill in New Haven. 

President Joe Biden nominated Ms Avery to serve as US Attorney on January 26, 2022, and the US Senate confirmed her nomination on April 27, 2022.

Ms Avery becomes the first Black woman to serve as Connecticut’s top federal law enforcement officer. She will replace John Durham, who retired last March. Leonard Boyle served as interim US Attorney.

“It is an honor to return to this office, in the city where I was raised, to serve as Connecticut’s US Attorney,” US Attorney Avery said.  “I look forward to working with the many talented members of this office, as well as our dedicated law enforcement partners, to enforce federal criminal and civil laws, protect our communities, and ensure justice for all who live in our state.”

Prior to her appointment as US Attorney, Avery served as the Associate Attorney General and Chief of the Division of Enforcement and Public Protection at the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General. 

Since January 2019, she led the affirmative litigation and investigations on behalf of the State of Connecticut in the areas of antitrust, opioids, government program fraud, consumer protection, child protection, environment, energy, finance, privacy and cybersecurity, and civil rights. 

She served on the Attorney General’s Litigation Management Committee, represented the Attorney General on the Connecticut Bar Association Policing Task Force, and led the COVID-19 Fraud Task Force in coordination with the U.S Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Chief State’s Attorney’s Office.

From 2014 to 2019, Ms Avery was an Assistant US Attorney in the Civil Division in this District, prosecuting a variety of complex civil fraud cases under the False Claims Act, asset forfeiture cases, environmental violations, civil rights matters, and defending Bivens and medical malpractice cases.

From 2006 to 2014, Ms Avery was a litigation attorney at McCarter & English LLP, where she focused on business and financial litigation, intellectual property, trust and probate, and product liability cases. 

From 2003 to 2005, Ms Avery was a Trial Attorney with the US Dept of Justice in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division in Washington, D.C. 

From 1999 to 2003, she was an attorney in the Hartford Trial Group at Cummings & Lockwood LLC.

Avery is a graduate of Yale University and the Georgetown University Law Center.  She is a New Haven native and a graduate of the New Haven Public Schools.

The US Attorney’s Office is charged with enforcing federal criminal laws in Connecticut and representing the federal government in civil litigation. 

As US Attorney, Ms Avery supervises a staff of approximately 68 Assistant US Attorneys and approximately 57 staff members at offices in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport.

Ms Avery is the 54th US Attorney for the District of Connecticut, an office that was established in 1789.