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DOJ Intergovernmental Affairs Director Appointed
Portia Roberson was appointed this summer as the director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison (OIPL). This office coordinates DOJ activities related to state and local government and law enforcement officials, and outside organizations. OIPL also ensures that the state and local perspective is taken into account as DOJ policies and programs are discussed and implemented. Prior to this position, she worked in Michigan as an associate general counsel for the Detroit Medical Center and as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Wayne County. She recently sat down to answer a few questions about her plans as director and expected interaction with Attorneys General.
Q: What are your office’s priority issues?
A: I am really interested in working to change the perception of DOJ from being separate from state and local governments but truly working with them and other constituent groups. As far as working with state Attorney Generals, we want to establish a partnership with them. They are on the frontline and deal with the everyday issues that people are facing. We want to make sure that the DOJ is working with and listening to Attorney Generals on their priority issues. The Executive Working Group on Prosecutorial Relations (EWG) is definitely a priority that the U.S. Attorney General, the Department of Justice, OIPL and NAAG share. I have met with NAAG leadership and certainly look forward to forming a partnership in working with the EWG.
Q: How is your office structured?
A: There are seven people in my office including myself, two associate directors, a legal advisor, a confidential assistant, a research coordinator, and a secretary. Basically, we are a small office looking to complete big tasks.
Q: What is a day-in-your life look like?
A: Well, I recently moved to the city so I still adjusting to life in the District of Columbia. Professionally, I attend quite a few meetings in an effort to make sure that we are working towards the goals of the Department of Justice. I have an open door policy with my team as we determine the direction of the office. The associate directors and the senior legal advisor continue to do outreach to various constituency groups and we listen and try to address any concerns that people may have surrounding the Justice Department.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like our readership to know about you or your office?
A: I would just like them to know that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is committed to working with the Attorneys General on law enforcement issues and those issues that are important to the American people. The Department of Justice represents many different things to many different people. This Department and OIPL will work tirelessly to answer the questions and address the concerns of everyone.
For more information about OIPL, visit http://www.usdoj.gov/oipl/.
Portia Roberson, Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison