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Joyce White Vance
Joyce White Vance Photo

United States Attorney Joyce White Vance is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Northern District of Alabama. She was one of the first five U.S. Attorneys nominated by President Barack Obama. Vance was confirmed by the Senate on August 7, 2009. The District she serves includes 31 counties and almost three million people, approximately 60% of Alabama’s population. Vance oversees a staff of 105 employees, including 51 attorneys and 58 non-attorney support personnel, with offices in Birmingham and Huntsville.

As U.S. Attorney, Vance directs the prosecution of federal crimes, the defense of the United States in civil cases, and the collection of debts owed to the United States.

Ms. Vance's priorities for the District include terrorism and national security, financial fraud and public corruption, violent crime, and protecting vulnerable members of the community in areas including child exploitation and civil rights.

The Office continues to aggressively pursue returning funds to the public through asset forfeiture, criminal restitution and fines, and other financial litigation. Those collections, during Vance's tenure to date, have exceeded the Office's budget.

Vance was appointed to a two-year term on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee in December of 2009, where she helped to craft Justice Department policy. She co-chairs the AGAC’s Criminal Practice Subcommittee and serves on the Management and Budget, Civil Rights, and Environmental Law Subcommittees.

Vance started in the U.S. Attorney’s office in July of 1991 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Criminal Division. She served as trial counsel in cases involving civil rights violations, drug trafficking, financial fraud, and violent crime. In 2001, she moved to the Office’s Appellate Division. She became the Chief of that Division in 2004, supervising the Office’s criminal and civil appellate work and arguing frequently before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Before coming to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vance was a civil litigator in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Birmingham, Alabama.

Vance is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and the University of Virginia School of Law. She is married to Alabama Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance, Jr. They have four children.

(Biography courtesy of

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