Matthew G. Whitaker is the former acting Attorney General of the United States. During his tenure as acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice focused on reducing violent crime and addressing the opioid epidemic, in addition to combating terrorism and other department priorities. Prior to becoming acting Attorney General, Mr. Whitaker served as Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
While US Attorney, Whitaker served on the Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, a group of 30 United States Attorneys across the country focusing on the Department of Justice’s efforts against drug trafficking. Additionally, he was a member of the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee and the White Collar Crime Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.
Whitaker received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in 1991. In 1995, he graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in addition to earning his Master of Business Administration. Following graduation, Whitaker moved to the Twin Cities and worked for the law firm of Briggs & Morgan. In 1998, Whitaker joined a Fortune 100 company, as corporate counsel. In 2001, Whitaker joined the law firm of Finely Alt Smith where he remained until his appointment as United States Attorney. In 2002, Whitaker ran for State Treasurer of Iowa and in 2014 was a candidate for United States Senate. In 2009, Whitaker formed the law firm of Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids Iowa representing businesses and individuals in complex criminal and civil matters. In 2014, Whitaker began a three-year tenure as Executive Director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) in Washington DC. Whitaker has been a contributor for CNN, appearing often to discuss legal issues. He is a frequent guest on Fox News.