United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan to Address Seton Hill Graduates
“We are delighted that U.S. Attorney Buchanan will address our graduates this year,” Seton Hill President JoAnne Boyle said. “As the first Pennsylvania woman to be appointed U.S. Attorney, Buchanan is a true trailblazer. Her message to our students will be compelling.”
President George W. Bush appointed Buchanan on September 5, 2001 and the United States Senate confirmed her nomination on September 14, 2001. She is the first woman in Pennsylvania’s history to be appointed U.S. Attorney. In this position, Buchanan oversees the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of civil matters, in which the federal government has an interest, throughout the 25 counties in Western Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission recently appointed Buchanan to an Advisory Group to review the effectiveness of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines as they pertain to organizations. She also serves on several subcommittees of Attorney General John Ashcroft’s Advisory Committee, including the Terrorism/ National Security Subcommittee; the Violent Crime/ Organized Crime Subcommittee; the White Collar Crime Subcommittee; the Civil Rights Subcommittee; and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Working Group.
Prior to her appointment as U.S. Attorney, Buchanan served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania. From 1988-1992, she served in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, representing the U.S. in civil litigation matters, including employment discrimination; federal tort claims; federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act violations; and False Claims Act violations. From 1992-2001, Buchanan served in the Criminal Division, representing the U.S. in the prosecution of both violent and financial crimes.
While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Buchanan was the supervising attorney for the Financial Crimes Task Force of Southwestern Pennsylvania, acted as the District’s Violence Against Women Act Coordinator and was instrumental in the formation of the Western Pennsylvania Crimes Against Children Task Force. From its inception until her appointment as U.S. Attorney, Buchanan served as the Coordinator and Chairperson of the Task Force.
Throughout her career, Buchanan has served in leadership roles in many professional, charitable and civic associations. She has served on the Child Exploitation Subcommittee of Attorney General Janet Reno’s Advisory Committee and on the Pennsylvania Commission on Women in the Profession. She has also served as the President of the University of Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Inns of Court, President of the Women’s Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania and the Chair of Criminal Practice Committee of the Federal Court Section of the Allegheny Heart Association, Vice-President of the Parental Stress Center and Secretary of the Foundation for California University of Pennsylvania.
Buchanan has been a frequent guest lecturer at the Duquesne University School of Law, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and at various Bar Association and U.S. Department of Justice Legal Education Programs.
Buchanan is a life-long resident of Western Pennsylvania. She is a 1984 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania and a 1987 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. In March 1999, Buchanan received California University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Professional Achievement Award and in February 2002, she received the Women’s Bar Association’s Susan B. Anthony Award that recognizes the achievements of women in the legal profession.
Seton Hill College’s commencement will be at 11:00 a.m. on May 11th and is part of a two-day celebration for graduates, their families and friends and members of the Seton Hill community.