International Anticorruption Prosecutor Veronica Dragalin of Moldova to Receive the Distinguished Robert S. Tucker Prize for Prosecutorial Excellence
The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University will bestow the 2023 Robert S. Tucker Prize for Prosecutorial Excellence on Veronica Dragalin, Chief of the Anticorruption Prosecution Office for the Republic of Moldova, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of criminal prosecution and excellence in prosecutorial practice.
“Veronica has led an impressive career demonstrating her commitment to the pursuit of justice both as an accomplished Assistant United States Attorney and now in a challenging, and historic, role as head of Anticorruption for Moldova,” said Dean Horace E. Anderson Jr. “She took on this role at a particularly volatile time in the region and made history as the first-ever female in the position. Her tenacity to leave a successful position in the US to lead the fight against corruption in her native country is truly admirable.”
Veronica Dragalin is a dual citizen born and raised in the Republic of Moldova and educated in the United States. She received an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a JD degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She spent the first years of her career as an associate at the international law firm, Jones Day. After working as a lawyer on civil litigation and international criminal investigations, in 2016, Veronica became a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles where she worked in the Public Corruption & Civil Rights Section and served as the office’s Hate Crimes Coordinator. Veronica tried ten jury trials as a prosecutor and charged more than 50 cases, including against federal and local law enforcement officers for civil rights violations as well as public officials for bribery and other corruption crimes, including a RICO conspiracy case charging Los Angeles City Councilmembers, a Deputy Mayor, and other public officials and individuals involved in a pay-to-play scheme.
On August 1, 2022, Veronica began her current mandate as the Chief of the Anticorruption Prosecution Office for the Republic of Moldova, taking on the challenging role for a country with a long history of systemic political corruption at an especially turbulent time in the region. Her office of approximately 130 personnel currently handles criminal corruption investigations and prosecutions against high-level officials, including the ex-President, the suspended Prosecutor General, members of parliament, judges, and prosecutors.
Veronica is already making an impact in her new role within a short time. According to Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published in January 2023, Moldova’s score has increased by three points, one of the most significant improvements made, placing it at 91 out of 180 countries in the CPI. The CPI ranks countries annually “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.”
“Veronica Dragalin’s remarkable career is a reflection of the values and commitment in criminal prosecution that we aim to recognize with this award,” said Robert S. Tucker, Chairman and CEO of T&M, whose generous gift has endowed this annual award at Haub Law. “Prosecuting rogue public officials and fighting corruption crimes in the US and abroad is difficult and often dangerous work, but Veronica has demonstrated her resolve and drive to lead reform here and around the world. We are delighted l to present her with the Robert S. Tucker Prize for prosecutorial excellence and to celebrate her accomplishments among her peers and the global law community.”
The Robert S. Tucker Prize for Prosecutorial Excellence is awarded annually to an individual or a group of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of criminal prosecution and who demonstrate excellence in prosecutorial practice. Honorees are selected each year by a jury comprised of former prosecutors and faculty members from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. The award ceremony brings together prosecutors from across the region and state, civic leaders, members of the judiciary, New York City government and the Haub Law community to recognize these distinguished individuals for their work. The prize is made possible by the generous support of Haub Law alumnus and Pace University Board of Trustees member Robert S. Tucker. Past Award Recipients include Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and the Office of the Bronx District Attorney, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, former New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, and Richard A. Brown, the late Queens District Attorney.
The ceremony for the Robert S. Tucker Prize for Prosecutorial Excellence will be held on Wednesday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. at Pace University in Manhattan, NY. For additional information on the ceremony, please contact Rachael Silva.