gavel.jpgMelinda Haag was sworn in today as the new U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, making her the first woman to hold the position in 90 years.

Haag, 49, was nominated by President Obama on March 25 and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 5.

She is the 50th U.S. Attorney for the Northern California district and only the second woman to hold the position. The last woman who did so, Annette Adams, served from Aug. 5, 1919, to June 20, 1920.

Haag succeeds Joseph Russoniello, who first served from 1982 to 1990 and then from 2008 until now.

“I am honored to be given this opportunity and glad to be back serving with the outstanding staff at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” she said in a prepared statement.

“This office has been at the forefront of some of the country’s most important cases. As we move forward, the office will continue to seek out and prosecute individuals who violate federal laws in the district, and do everything in its power to ensure the Northern District of California is a safe and rewarding place to live.”

Since 2003, Haag has been a partner at international San Francisco law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she worked with the White Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Investigations Group. The team handles cases involving fraud, antitrust violations, environmental crimes, health care fraud and other corporate matters.

The University of California, San Diego graduate received her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley before working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles from 1989 to 1993. She then transferred to the San Francisco office, where she worked until 2003, when she joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

The Northern District of California is made up of 15 counties, stretching as far south as the Monterey Coast and extending north to California’s border with Oregon. It covers the area east from the Pacific Ocean almost to Sacramento. More than 7.3 million people live in the district.

There are 126 attorneys in the district’s three offices, which are located in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. They prosecute federal criminal cases and represent the U.S. in civil actions.

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