PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office announces that Zachary A. Cunha took the oath of office today to become the United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island. U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., administered the oath in U.S. District Court in a brief ceremony attended by members of Mr. Cunha’s family, in the presence of the Honorable William E. Smith and Mary S. McElroy, United States District Judges, and the Honorable Patricia M. Sullivan, United States Magistrate Judge.
At the recommendation of United State Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Mr. Cunha was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., on September 28, 2021, and confirmed by the United States Senate on December 7, 2021. United States Attorney Cunha serves as the chief federal law enforcement officer for Rhode Island.
“I am deeply humbled, and profoundly honored at the opportunity to lead the extraordinary women and men of this Office as we continue its long and proud tradition of seeking justice on behalf of each and every one of our fellow residents in the Ocean State,” said Cunha. “I look forward to working closely with our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as with communities and community leaders across Rhode Island, to maximize our impact on public safety and defend the public interest.”
A lawyer for two decades, United States Attorney Cunha has spent the bulk of his career with the Department of Justice, serving in three United States Attorney’s Offices: the District of Rhode Island, the District of Massachusetts, and the Eastern District of New York, where he was first appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in 2005.
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Cunha handled and supervised an array of nationally significant civil and criminal cases, notably in the area of health care fraud and white collar fraud. In 2010, he was recognized with the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the highest honor conferred by the Department of Justice, for his work on the prosecution team handling a series of related investigations of Pfizer Pharmaceutical. Those investigations resulted in a recovery of $2.3 billion dollars, representing the largest civil and criminal healthcare fraud recovery made by the United States as of that time.
Before joining the Justice Department, Mr. Cunha began his legal career on September 10, 2001, when he was sworn in as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York.
Mr. Cunha received his Bachelor of Arts, with honors, from Brown University in 1998, and his Juris Doctorate, also with honors, from the George Washington University Law School in 2001.