Attorney General Eric Holder recognized 247 department employees for their distinguished public service yesterday at the 57th Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony. Thirty-nine other individuals outside of the department also were honored for their work. Held at Constitution Hall, this annual ceremony recognizes both department employees and others for their dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s mission. This year, Marla Tusk, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.
“It is my privilege to honor these recipients for their outstanding service and commitment to our country,” Attorney General Holder said. “Each of these dedicated servants has carried out the important mission of the Department of Justice and has done so with excellence and distinction. Their varied accomplishments have advanced the interests of justice on behalf of the American people, and I’m proud to call them my colleagues.”
Tusk was part of a trial team that received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for their relentless and innovative efforts in the investigation and prosecution of Ali Saleh Kaleh Al-Marri. The trial team unraveled an international conspiracy and successfully completed one of the most high-profile terrorism cases in the department’s history.
“Marla and her team had the foresight to keep Al-Marri’s criminal investigation active in anticipation that he might not be held as an enemy combatant,” said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. ”As a result of Marla’s and others’ work on the investigation – which spanned the globe and navigated complicated classified information issues – Al-Marri pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda.”
Tusk joined the U.S. Attorney’s office in 2007, after spending three years as a counterterrorism prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice. She is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law.