HOUSTON – Jennifer B. Lowery has taken the oath of office to remain as chief federal law enforcement officer for the Southern District of Texas (SDTX).
“I am extremely grateful to the district judges for allowing me to continue to serve the SDTX and our community,” said Lowery. “It is an honor and a privilege to be the U.S. Attorney (USA). I take pride in our office and the work it does in support of our law enforcement partners, our mutual mission to protect our citizens and hold accountable those who commit federal crimes. Likewise, I am blessed to work alongside the dedicated employees in this district who are devoted to public service and to our office’s core values of professionalism, ethics and civility.”
Lowery was first appointed Acting USA Feb. 22, 2021, upon the resignation of former USA Ryan K. Patrick. Attorney General Merrick Garland then appointed Lowery to be the interim USA Dec. 26 and was to serve in that role for 120 days. The district judges in the U.S. District court for the SDTX then voted to appoint Lowery as U.S. Attorney until the appointment and qualification of a successor to the SDTX as provided by law.
Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal administered the oath of office April 7.
Lowery joined the SDTX in 2008, but has been with the Department of Justice since 2000. She first served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and then an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the Eastern District of Texas. During this time, she was detailed to Washington D.C. and New York, New York, as a hearing officer for the 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund. She later worked in Washington D.C. in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and Executive Office for US Attorneys, in both their Counsel to Director’s Office and General Counsel’s Office.
While with the SDTX, Lowery has served as AUSA in the Major Offenders, Fraud and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Sections. She has also held the titles of First Assistant USA, Executive AUSA, criminal chief, deputy criminal chief of the Program Fraud Section, acting deputy criminal chief of the Major Fraud Section, senior litigation counsel and ethics advisor.
Prior to her federal service, Lowery was an Assistant Criminal District Attorney in the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for eight years where she prosecuted hundreds of cases, including four capital murders. She served as a grand jury attorney, drug intake lawyer, drug diversion lawyer, misdemeanor chief and attorney and felony attorney.
Lowery holds a B.A. from Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University) and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law in Houston.
Lowery was honored to have her mother, niece, mentor, members of the judiciary and bar and various employees of the SDTX in attendance as she took the oath of office.
Pursuant to Vacancy Reform Act, the second in the chain of command, generally the First USA, automatically begins serving as Acting USA upon exit of a presidentially-appointed USA and serves for up to 300 days. If a new USA is not in place by that time, the Attorney General has the authority to name an interim USA to serve for up to 120 days. At that time, if no one has been presidentially-appointed to that position, the district judges vote to name someone as USA until the appointment and qualification of a successor as provided by law.
The SDTX is among the busiest in the nation. With more than 200 attorneys, the office serves more than nine million people in 43 counties from Houston to the Mexican border and prosecutes more federal criminal cases than most other districts. The SDTX currently comprises seven divisions with federal district courts in Houston, Galveston, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo.