Senate approves the next U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have announced that Zachary A. Cunha will be the next U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island. His appointment comes after the full Senate approved him. The U.S. attorney serves as the state’s top federal law enforcement official while overseeing the office prosecuting federal cases in Rhode Island.
Zachary Cunha and his family are long-time Rhode Island residents, and he earned a Bachelors of Arts, with honors, from Brown University in 1988. He received a Juris Doctorate in 2001 from the George Washington University Law School.
President Biden recommended Cunha to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, and his nominations was approved by the Committee last month.
“We are pleased that the full U.S. Senate has confirmed Zachary Cunha to be Rhode Island’s U.S. Attorney,” said Senators Reed and Whitehouse in a joint statement. “Mr. Cunha already has an exemplary record of service in the U.S. Attorney’s office. He steps into this new, elevated role ready to serve and protect the people of Rhode Island with integrity and distinction.”
Cunha was a federal prosecutor since 2005, joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Rhode Island in 2014. He then became Chief of the Civil Division in 2018. Cunha also served as the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Coordinator in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island, responsible for cases representing the United States to “seek to vindicate governmental interests, combat fraud, recover funds under the Federal False Claims Act.” according to a release.
Cunha also worked with the Justice Department in Eastern District of New York, where from 2005 to 2008 he served as Assistant U.S. Attorney. Prior to that job, he worked as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, where he represented New York City and its officers in federal litigation.
Cunha served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts for five years.
In 2010, Cunha was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, for his work as part of the prosecution team that challenged Pfizer, Inc. for illegal marketing conduct resulting in $2.3 billion dollar civil and criminal resolution of charges.