U.S. attorney garners leadership award

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More news-release goodness for you this afternoon!

Barbara McQuade, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, has received Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women’s prestigious Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award in honor of her professional achievements.

Barbara McQuade

The Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award is presented annually to distinguished alumnae of Pi Beta Phi who exhibit excellence and outstanding leadership in their career or volunteer service to their communities. The award is named for past Pi Beta Phi President Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg, who was instrumental in forming Pi Beta Phi Foundation during her term from 1985 to 1991. Essential Fraternity initiatives, like leadership development programs and literacy, are supported through the stewardship of the Foundation.

“This award honors my work to combat public corruption and protect civil rights,” Barbara said. “Public corruption is harmful because it erodes trust in government and cheats taxpayers out of honest services to which they are entitled. Civil rights are important because they are an essential part of our nation’s promise of equal justice under law.”

Barbara graduated with high honors from the University of Michigan in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and economics. In 1991, she earned her law degree from the same University, graduating cum laude.

After law school, Barbara worked as an attorney in the private sector. She also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Barbara then held several positions within the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, which serves 6.5 million people living in the eastern half of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The Office prosecutes criminal cases, brings civil actions and defends the federal government in federal court. Barbara served as Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Counter-Terrorism Unit.

In 2010, Barbara was appointed U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan by President Barack Obama. She is the first woman to serve in this capacity. Upon assuming office, Barbara helped restructure the Office to better align talent with priorities and formed a task force to reduce violent crime and improve community relations. 

Barbara’s career accomplishments include the prosecution of an Al-Qaeda operative, referred to as the “Underwear Bomber,” who attempted to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear while on a Northwest Airlines Flight. She prosecuted a former Detroit mayor and more than 30 of his associates on charges of public corruption and bribery. In a story that made national news, Barbara tried and convicted a doctor of fraudulently billing Medicare for unnecessary cancer treatments he prescribed for hundreds of patients.

Barbara was named a Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News. She has received a Shining Light Award from the Detroit Free Press in honor of her exemplary regional leadership. Besides being a dedicated public servant, Barbara is a wife and mother of four children.

About Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women: Founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois, Pi Beta Phi has installed 204 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae clubs worldwide. Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential and enriches the lives of members and their communities. The Fraternity believes in the power of reading and through its philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve, promotes a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential. For more information, visit www.pibetaphi.org

Jim McBee

Founding partner, creative director and ink-stained wretch with The Ann magazine.