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Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention

Tara McGrath

United States Attorney Southern District of California

photo of Tara McGrath

Ms. Tara K. McGrath was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California on October 5, 2023.  Ms. McGrath is a career public servant with leadership experience in law enforcement, federal government, and the military.  Under her direction, the U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with other federal and state entities to uphold the rule of law, keep our communities safe, and protect civil rights.

Ms. McGrath began her professional career as a victim witness advocate in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she supported victims of violent crimes as they navigated the legal system.  In 2001, she joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a judge advocate, serving on active duty in Virginia, South Carolina, and Japan.  Ms. McGrath’s active duty experience includes two years serving as a military defense counsel, representing clients in criminal matters ranging from attempted murder to entitlements fraud.

In 2008, Ms. McGrath joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA).  In this capacity, Ms. McGrath held various leadership positions, including Principal Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section, Trial Team Leader, and Deputy Chief of Intake.  During her tenure as an AUSA, Ms. McGrath specialized in narcotics and violent crime prosecutions.  In 2015, Ms. McGrath was detailed as a Trial Attorney to the Department of Justice Office of Enforcement Operations in Washington, D.C.

In 2019, Ms. McGrath returned to Japan, where she served as the civilian Litigation Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific region.  In that capacity, she advised prosecutors, law enforcement, and commanding officers on a variety of legal issues, investigative best practices, and legal ethics.

Ms. McGrath is an avid conservationist and has also served as the Director of the South Coast Office for the Coastal Conservation League where she partnered with local governments to advance smart growth initiatives, land conservation, and community access to green space.

Ms. McGrath received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2001 and her B.A., cum laude, from Boston College in 1995.