The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA) honored U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch with the Janet Reno Torchbearer Award at the organization’s Annual Dinner on May 25, 2016, in Washington, DC. The Janet Reno Torchbearer Award recognizes exceptional women lawyers, their achievements, and the trails they have blazed for those women who have followed, and is reserved for those rare occasions when the accomplishments of an individual are so extraordinary that they should be recognized.

Loretta E. Lynch was sworn in as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States on April 27, 2015.

As the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Ms. Lynch is responsible for enforcing federal laws, many of which have a serious impact on the legal rights and futures of women across this country. Ms. Lynch is dedicated to the rule of law and public service. She has a long and impressive career comprising private practice, teaching, and substantial government service. She has built a reputation as a fair and even-handed prosecutor, handling tough cases well. Making history as the first African American woman to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General, Ms. Lynch serves as a role model and inspiration for women and girls around the country.

In 1990, after a stint in private practice, Ms. Lynch joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and forged an impressive career prosecuting cases involving narcotics, violent crimes, public corruption, and civil rights.

In 1999, President Clinton appointed Ms. Lynch to lead the office as United States Attorney—a post she held until 2001. Subsequently, Ms. Lynch was a litigator at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel and then joined Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells) as a partner in the firm’s New York office. While in private practice, Ms. Lynch performed extensive pro bono work for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations in the 1994 genocide in that country. As Special Counsel to the Tribunal, she was responsible for investigating allegations of witness tampering and false testimony.

In 2010, President Obama asked Ms. Lynch to resume her leadership of the United States Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn. Under her direction, the office successfully prosecuted numerous corrupt public officials, terrorists, cybercriminals and human traffickers, among other important cases. In that position, she tried more terrorism cases since 9/11 than any other office, including successfully prosecuting the terrorists who plotted to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York City subway.

Ms. Lynch received her A.B., cum laude, from Harvard College in 1981, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1984.Ms. Lynch enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Stephen Hargrove, and their two children.

The theme for the 2016 Annual Dinner was “Advancing Together.” As an organization, the WBA is committed to being the preeminent professional and personal resource for women at all points in their legal career. The association provides opportunities to meet like-minded professionals along with mentors and other connections who can help them take the next step, wherever that may lead.