Lecturer in Law
Jennifer Arbittier Williams has been the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since January 23, 2021. Prior to assuming this position, she served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania beginning in April 2018 and oversaw the daily operations of the Criminal, Civil, and Administrative Divisions.
Prior to her selection as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ms. Williams served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for over 15 years. During that time, Ms. Williams served as the Chief of the National Security and Cybercrime Unit, and she continues to serve as the Office’s National Security Cyber Specialist and its Crisis Management Coordinator responsible for critical incident response. While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ms. Williams was the lead prosecutor on a number of significant cases, including United States v. Colleen LaRose a/k/a “Jihad Jane,” which was the first prosecution in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania charging material support of terrorism. She was also lead counsel in United States v. Neal Saferstein, which resulted in the defendant’s conviction for directing a $75 million telemarking fraud. Additionally, Ms. Williams has served as a legal advisor during national security and other special events, including the September 2015 Papal visit to Philadelphia.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Williams has received numerous special achievement awards. For example, Ms. Williams has been awarded the Anti-Defamation League’s SHIELD Award, recognizing her successes in the fight against hate crimes, extremism, and terrorism, and for protecting civil rights. She has also received the Federal Trade Commission’s National Criminal Liaison Award, recognizing her exceptional commitment to consumer protection in partnership with the FTC.
Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Williams worked at law firms in both Philadelphia and New York, concentrating her practice on white-collar criminal defense and First Amendment litigation. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony J. Scirica, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and to the Honorable Anita B. Brody, United States District Judge of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Williams earned a B.A. in American History, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. She earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude, in 1995, where she was Order of the Coif and served as a Senior Editor of the Journal of International Business Law.
Ms. Williams resides in Delaware County, PA. She is involved in many activities in her community, including serving as a Program Developer and Instructor in the Chester Youth Courts Program in Chester, PA.