Author: Institute of Caribbean Studies | Date: 23 June 2017
Eric Holder is the nation's 82nd and first African-American Attorney General of the United States, serving from 2009 to 2015 under President Obama. Holder is of Barbadian heritage. His father is from Barbados as well as his maternal grandparents.
Holder has been a public servant for a total of more than 30 years, serving in appointed positions under Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Reagan. After graduating from Columbia Law School he began working at the Department of Justice as part of the Attorney General's honors program.He was then appointed by Ronald Reagan as an associate judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court. Under President Clinton, Holder served as Unites States Attorney General for the District of Columbia, the first African American to hold the position. President Clinton subsequently appointed Holder as Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Holder also served as Acting Attorney General for a brief period under President George W. Bush while future Attorney General John Ashcroft completed the confirmation process.
Holder also worked in the private sector with the law firm Covington and Burling LLC. He represented, among other clients, the National Football League during its investigation of quarterback Michael Vick.
As Attorney General under the Obama administration, Holder helped to broaden the conversation about the influence of race in the criminal justice system. He is also a philanthropist and serves on the board of various organizations, including the Columbia University board, the Save the Children Foundation, and Concerned Black Men, a group that assists youth in the Washington, DC area.