Barbara McQuade

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Barbara McQuade
Barbara McQuade US Attorney.jpg
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan
In office
January 4, 2010 – March 10, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byStephen Murphy III
Succeeded byMatthew J. Schneider
Personal details
Born (1964-12-22) December 22, 1964 (age 56)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Michigan (BA, JD)

Barbara Lynn McQuade[1] (born December 22, 1964)[2] is an American lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan from 2010 to 2017. As part of President Trump's 2017 dismissal of U.S. attorneys, she stepped down in March 2017.[3] She is currently a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School,[4] and a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Detroit, she received her A.B. degree in 1987 from the University of Michigan and her J.D. degree in 1991 from the University of Michigan Law School. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, McQuade practiced law at the firm of Butzel Long in Detroit, and served as a law clerk for Hon. Bernard A. Friedman on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.


McQuade was an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan from 1998 until becoming U.S. Attorney in that same district. She was also a professor of law at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law from 2003 to 2009.

McQuade was appointed by President Barack Obama and started her term as U.S. Attorney on January 4, 2010. Upon taking office in January 2010, McQuade restructured the office for the first time in more than 35 years to align attorney resources with the priorities of the district: national security, violent crime, public corruption, civil rights and financial fraud, including mortgage fraud, health care fraud, and environmental crimes.[6]

Significant case accomplishments during McQuade's tenure include the conviction of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on public corruption charges; the conviction and life sentence of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be al-Qaeda bomber behind the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot to destroy an airplane in flight from the Netherlands to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport; the conviction of a former Michigan Supreme Court Justice on bank fraud charges, and the convictions of former employees for stealing trade secrets from Detroit automakers. McQuade also joined with other law enforcement leaders to launch Detroit One, a violence reduction strategy and community partnership.[7]

McQuade served on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee, and was the co-chair of the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee. She also served on subcommittees addressing civil rights and border security.

The first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, McQuade was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit for 12 years. She served as Deputy Chief of the National Security Unit, where she prosecuted cases involving terrorism financing, foreign agents, export violations, and threats. During her career as a federal prosecutor, McQuade has also prosecuted cases involving violent crime, fraud and racketeering.

One of her highest-profile cases[according to whom?] came in 2013–15, when she helped expose Detroit-area cancer specialist Farid Fata as the mastermind of one of the largest health care frauds in American history. Fata pleaded guilty to his crimes in 2015, and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

In 2017, McQuade became a regular contributor to MSNBC, commenting primarily on scandals related to President Trump.

Awards and recognition[edit]

"Professor McQuade has been recognized by the Detroit Free Press with the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership, The Detroit News with the Michiganian of the Year Award, Crain's Detroit Business as a Newsmaker of the Year and one of Detroit's Most Influential Women, and the Detroit Branch NAACP and Arab American Civil Rights League with their Tribute to Justice Award."[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The University of Michigan Law School Alumni Directory (2007)
  2. ^ Hubbell, Martindale (December 1994). Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory 1994: Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri (Volume 9). Martindale-Hubbell. ISBN 9781561600779.
  3. ^ "U.S. attorney McQuade confirms she'll resign as Sessions sweeps clean". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  4. ^ "After ouster by Trump, Barbara McQuade takes job at U-M Law School". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  5. ^ "Barbara McQuade 'Has Become Something of a Celebrity' Explaining Trump Inquiries". Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  6. ^ Crains Detroit Business article on McQuade
  7. ^ "Indictments expose pervasive culture municipal corruption". Detroit Free Press. December 15, 2010.
  8. ^ "Faculty Bio: McQuade, Barbara. Professor from Practice". Michigan Law, University of Michigan. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Stephen Joseph Murphy III
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan
Succeeded by
Matthew J. Schneider