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New U.S. attorney takes oath of office

RO file photo

GREENSBORO — Sandra J. Hairston was sworn-in as the next United States Attorney  for the Middle District of North Carolina on Nov. 23, 2021. Chief Judge Thomas J. Schroeder administered the oath of office to U.S. Attorney Hairston in a private  ceremony yesterday evening. 

Ms. Hairston was nominated for the position of United States Attorney by President Joseph R. Biden on Sept. 28, 2021. She was confirmed by the Senate on Nov. 19, 2021. 

Ms. Hairston joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the MDNC in 1990. During more than thirty years as an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Hairston has served as deputy chief of the Criminal Division and lead attorney in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Section in the MDNC. She was named first assistant United States Attorney in April 2014. Ms. Hairston also served as Acting United States Attorney from Jan. 14, 2017 to Jan. 3, 2018, and from March 1,  2021 to Nov. 23, 2021.  

From April 1994 until June 1996, Ms. Hairston served as chief of the Criminal Division in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Ms. Hairston returned to the MDNC in late June 1996. 

Ms. Hairston began her legal career in 1987 as an assistant district attorney in the Thirteenth Prosecutorial District of North Carolina. 


Ms. Hairston is a 1981 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. In 1987, she was awarded the degree of Juris Doctor from the North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina. 

In 2002, Ms. Hairston received the Director’s Award from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney. 

Ms. Hairston was the 2015 recipient of the Peter S. Gilchrist III Award, which is given by the Criminal Justice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association to a Prosecutor “who exemplifies the highest ideals of the profession.” 

A formal investiture ceremony for U.S. Attorney Hairston will be held at a date to be determined.