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Name: Robinson, Laurie
Current Position: Former Assistant Attorney General


A returnee from the Clinton administration, Laurie (Laurel) O. Robinson rejoined the U.S. Department of Justice in November 2009 as assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which oversees numerous programs relating to local law enforcement and commands an annual budget of more than $2 billion. Only two Senators attended her confirmation hearing in October.
Born in 1946, Robinson grew up in Washington, DC, with a lobbyist father. She graduated in 1968, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University.
Robinson began her professional career as a journalist, spending three years reporting and editing for the Community News Service.
In July 1972, she joined the American Bar Association as assistant staff director for the criminal justice division. After working as deputy for seven years, she was promoted to director of the criminal justice division, and continued in that role for 14 years. During this time she founded the ABA’s Juvenile Justice Center. In 1975, she also co-founded the national Association of Women in Criminal Justice.
From August 1993 to February 2000, Robinson served as assistant attorney general in OJP during the Clinton era. In 1998, she established OJP’s Office of Domestic Preparedness to help state and local governments prepare for possible terrorist attacks.
After leaving the administration, she served from 2001-2009 as a distinguished senior scholar in the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerry Lee Center of Criminology and as executive director of its Forum on Crime and Justice. During this period, beginning in 2004, she also served as director of the Master of Science Program in Penn’s Department of Criminology. From 2004-2008 she taught a post-graduate course in “Criminology in Practice.”
At the beginning of 2003, she worked for a few months as president of CSR Inc., a consultancy firm dealing with criminal justice and other issues. Over the next five years, in addition to her academic responsibilities, she was employed as a consultant for the Justice Management Institute, The Council of State Governments, Abt Associates and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
One week after President Obama’s inauguration, Robinson returned to Washington, DC to serve as acting assistant attorney general and principal deputy assistant attorney general of OJP, positions she held until her nomination to take over the leadership of the office.
Robinson has served as a board member of numerous organizations, including member and chair for the board of trustees of the Vera Institute of Justice (2001-2009), as a member of the board of directors of The Constitution Project (2000-2009), the National Center for Victims of Crimes (2000-2009) and the Police Foundation (2002-2009), and the advisory board for the George Mason University Administration of Justice Program (2000-2009).
A Democrat, Robinson served as a volunteer member of the criminal justice committee of the presidential campaigns of Michael Dukakis in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.
Robinson’s husband, Sheldon Krantz, is a partner in the law firm of DLA Piper. She has one son, Ted Baab.
Laurie O. Robinson Assistant Attorney General (U.S. Department of Justice)
Q&A with Laurie Robinson (Main Justice)
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