59th United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania has been named. Cindy K. Chung assumes the highest position in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, taking over from Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman following the stepping down of former U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady. Attorney Chung was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden on October 27, 2021, and was subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate on November 19, 2021. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak administered her oath of office on the morning of November 23, 2021.
Table of Contents
- Educational Background, Bar Associations, Bar and Court Admissions
- Bar Admissions
- Court Admissions
- Bar Associations
- Legal Career of Attorney Cindy Chung
- Early Professional Career
- Clerkship and Service in the Office of the District Attorney for the New York County
- United States Department of Justice
- Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- Teaching Background
- Honors and Awards
- Most Significant Litigated Cases
- 10 most significant litigated matters handled by Attorney Cindy Chung
- Office Jurisdiction
- Contact Details of State’s Attorney Cindy Chung
- Pittsburgh Main Office
- Erie Branch Office
- Johnstown Branch Office
- Social Media Profiles of Cindy Chung
Educational Background, Bar Associations, Bar and Court Admissions
A Bulldog, U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung earned her degree in Bachelor of Arts from the Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in May 1997. She then attended law school at Columbia Law School, where she received her Juris Doctorate in May 2002. Top Federal Prosecutor Chung was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in October 2002 and the Pennsylvania State Bar Association in November 2013.
- Columbia Law School, 1999 – 2002 J.D. – May 2002
- University of California, Los Angeles, Summer 1997 No degree received
- Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1993 – 1997 B.A. – May 1997
- Ewha Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea, Summer 1995 No degree received
- New York, October 2002
- Pennsylvania, November 2013
- Western District of Pennsylvania (January 2015)
- All state courts in Pennsylvania (November 2013)
- All state courts in New York (October 2002)
- Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA)
ACBA Asian Attorneys Committee
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
- Wendell Freeman Society
- Asian Bar Association of New York
Legal Career of Attorney Cindy Chung
Early Professional Career
Following her graduation from university, U.S. Attorney Chung managed to serve as an Assistant to Professor Nina Byers of the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Summer of 1997. Prior to attending law school, U.S. Attorney Chung served as a Fellow at the Yale-China Association of the Yali Middle School from August 1997 to January 1999.
While studying law, Top Federal Prosecutor Chung established her experience in the legal field and became an Intern at the Lawyers Alliance in the Summer of 2000. In Fall, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Columbia Law School under Professor Elizabeth Schneider. United States Attorney Cindy Chung also served as a Law Intern under the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the Spring of 2001. Summer of the same year, she served as an Associate at the Willkie, Farr, and Gallagher LLP.
Clerkship and Service in the Office of the District Attorney for the New York County
Top Federal Prosecutor Cindy Chung officially began her legal career as a Law Clerk under the Honorable Myron Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in August 2002. She remained in this position, drafting legal papers and researching the law, until August the following year. Succeeding her short stint as a Law Clerk, U.S. Attorney Chung became a part of the Office of the District Attorney for New York County. She was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney, working under the Trial Bureau for four years, from 2003 to 2007. In this capacity, U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung served the people of New York County and prosecuted an array of crimes. In 2007, she became an Investigation Counsel at the Official Corruption Unit of the Office. Attorney Chung’s promotion from the general trial bureau to the official corruption section has shifted the highlight of her work to civil rights and public corruption. Her responsibilities as an Investigation Counsel include involvement in all phases of a criminal case, from investigation to a grand jury, motions, trial, and post-trial motions.
United States Department of Justice
In 2009, United States Attorney Cindy Chung was named a Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section of the United States Department of Justice. For two years, from August 2009 to 2014, U.S. Attorney Chung served the people of the federal districts by prosecuting cases within her jurisdiction. She continued to carry out all phases of a criminal case, handling an array of criminal matters with an emphasis on civil rights crimes and human trafficking crimes.
Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Joining the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Top Federal Prosecutor Cindy Chung became an Assistant United States Attorney at the Office, where she prosecuted cases for the residents of the Western District of Pennsylvania. Her duties include working on all phases of a criminal case, as well as arranging appeals and litigating various crimes. Matters involving narcotics and health care fraud became U.S. Attorney Chung’s litigation focus. From 2015 to 2017, she was appointed several times as the Acting Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney Office’s Violent Crimes Section. She also worked concurrently as a Civil Rights Coordinator for two years, beginning the year 2016. In 2018, United States Attorney Chung was named the Deputy Chief of the Office’s Major Crimes Section. She served in this position for two years before being nominated as Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Western District of Pennsylvania. While serving as Deputy Chief, Top Federal Prosecutor Chung also managed several other leadership roles, including being a Border Security Coordinator from 2018 to 2020; a Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator from 2018 to 2020; and a Domestic Violence Coordinator from 2019 to 2020. As the Project Safe Neighborhood Coordinator, U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung worked closely with several law enforcement and community partners to successfully and efficiently implement the violence-reduction strategy of the district. In addition, she has facilitated the grant process for the law enforcement and community partners, strategized with her colleagues, and trained new attorneys as their supervisors. The role of U.S. Attorney Chung as the Domestic Violence Coordinator and Civil Rights Coordinator has allowed her to develop training and educational materials for managing and prosecuting matters involving domestic violence and civil rights. Moreover, she has represented the office in several community outreach events while handling those leadership roles.
During her tenure as Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Section, U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she co-taught a course on Federal Hate Crimes in the Spring of 2021.
Honors and Awards
- Law Enforcement Agency Directors, Team Award for Outstanding Performance, 2020 Federal Executive Board (FEB), Gold Award for Outstanding Team Excellence in Government Award, 2019
- Pennsylvania Narcotic Officers’ Association, Outstanding Prosecutor Award, 2019
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contributions to DEA’s Mission, 2017
- Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, October 2012
- Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, 2011
- Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Academic Years 2000 – 2002
- Columbia Public Interest Fellow, Summer 2001
With a career focused on government service, U.S. Attorney Chung has demonstrated her dedication and perseverance in pursuing justice for the public. In line with this, she has received numerous honors and awards for her remarkable work. Top Federal Prosecutor Chung was awarded the Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2011; and the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service in October 2012. During her tenure as Acting Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney Office’s Violent Crimes Section, Top Federal Prosecutor Chung has provided exemplary service, receiving a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contributions to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Mission in 2017. When she was named Deputy Chief, U.S. Attorney Chung continued her excellent work and was consequently awarded the Outstanding Prosecutor Award by the Pennsylvania Narcotic Officers’ Association in 2019; the Gold Award for Outstanding Team Excellence in Government Award by the Federal Executive Board also in 2019; and the Team Award for Outstanding Performance by the Law Enforcement Agency Directors in 2020.
Most Significant Litigated Cases
Given the focus of her work throughout her government service, Top Federal Prosecutor Cindy Chung’s most significant litigated cases emphasized fraud, narcotics, and racially motivated criminal cases. In 2018, she served as a lead counsel in a multi-agency investigation of two defendants convicted of conspiring to commit health care fraud, conspiring to distribute oxycodone, conspiring to launder money, and committing social security fraud. Not only were the defendants proven guilty of operating a pill mill, but they were also found to have acquired Medicare and Medicaid to settle the payment for illegitimate prescriptions, allowing the defendants to launder their criminal proceeds. On top of this, United States Attorney Cindy Chung also served as co-counsel in the first-ever Shepherd-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act case prosecuted in the United States. The case involved a racially-motivated attack wherein the defendants ran a vehicle containing five Hispanic men to crash into a tree, causing it to ignite. U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung handled the investigation of the case on behalf of the Civil Rights Criminal Section of the Office, working on gathering motive evidence, handling witness interviews, and applying for certification. The investigation led to the conviction of the defendants, wherein U.S. Attorney Chung rejoined the case for sentencing.
The career of Top Federal Prosecutor Cindy Chung as a lawyer has been consistently devoted to serving the public as a prosecutor at the state and federal levels. Her line of work has touched on crimes of all types, emphasizing domestic violence, drug trafficking, hate crimes, money laundering, obstruction, police-involved shootings, and robberies. During her service as a prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Chung has been honored to serve on multiple cases of national importance, including the case involving the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. In this matter, Top Federal Prosecutor Chung was among the responding attorneys in the direct aftermath of the event, where she managed the certification and pleading at the case’s inception.
10 most significant litigated matters handled by Attorney Cindy Chung
- United States v. Paul Michael Hoover and Marcia Ramsier Arthur (2018-2021)
- United States v. Stephen Matakovich (2016-2017)
- United States v. Jocquinn Lamont Harris (2016-2017)
- United States v. James Nassida et al. (2016-2018)
- United States v. Rodney Howard (2015-2016)
- United States v. Frankie Maybee,et al. (2010-2011)
- United States v. Alfred and Gloria Edwards (2010-2013)
- United States v. Jason Barnwell, et al.
- United States v. Kenneth Bowen, et al. (2011-2016)
- United States v. William White (2009-2012)
Further details regarding the above litigation matters may be found in the public questionnaire accessible here.
As the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Western District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Attorney Cindy K. Chung is in charge of leading a staff of approximately 59 dedicated Assistant United States Attorneys across the criminal, civil, and appeals divisions of the Office, along with 56 support personnel divided amongst the different U.S. Attorney Branch Offices in the Cities of Erie, Johnstown, and Pittsburgh. The Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania is responsible for serving and protecting the 25 westernmost counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Contact Details of State’s Attorney Cindy Chung
Full Name: Cindy Kyounga Chung
District/State: Western District of Pennsylvania
Public email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pittsburgh Main Office
United States Attorney’s Office
Joseph F. Weis, Jr.
700 Grant Street, Suite 4000
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Erie Branch Office
United States Attorney’s Office
Federal Courthouse, Room A330
17 South Park Row
Erie, PA 16501
Johnstown Branch Office
United States Attorney’s Office
Suite 200 – Penn Traffic Building
319 Washington Street
Johnstown, PA 15901
Social Media Profiles of Cindy Chung
Username: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Updated: July 2, 2022