Loretta Lynch was sworn in Monday as the 83rd U.S. attorney general, the first African-American woman to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official.
Speaking before family members, Justice Department lawyers and supporters, Lynch said her confirmation as attorney general showed that “we can do anything” and pledged that the agency would “use justice as our compass” in confronting terrorism, cyberattacks and other threats facing the country.
Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to Lynch at a Justice Department ceremony, calling Lynch an “incredibly qualified” selection. The 55-year-old Lynch was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday. She replaces Eric Holder, who left the position Friday after serving as attorney general for six years.
She was previously the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which encompasses much of New York City, and is expected to serve as the top federal law enforcement official for the remainder of the Obama administration.
Lynch isn’t expected to make radical departures from Holder’s agenda, but has said she hopes to have a productive relationship with Congress. Holder frequently clashed with Republicans on Capitol Hill and was held in contempt during a document dispute stemming from the Fast and Furious federal investigation into gun trafficking.