AG Racine Announces Vikram Swaruup to Serve as Chief Deputy Attorney General

A Respected Civil Rights Attorney, Swaruup Serves on AG’s Senior Leadership Team

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced that Vikram Swaruup will serve as Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), effective December 18.  

Mr. Swaruup, who currently serves as Senior Counsel to the Attorney General, will report directly to the Attorney General and help lead the agency’s operations and legal practice, as OAG continues to provide the top-tier legal services to District residents, District of Columbia government, and the Council. Current Chief Deputy Jason Downs will return to private practice after more than two years of service to OAG and the District of Columbia.  

“Vikram is a brilliant attorney who is deeply committed to justice and fairness,” said AG Racine. “His sound legal advice and knowledge of our office have made him a key part of our senior leadership team. I’m proud of OAG’s deep bench, and Vikram brings to the job a career dedicated to using the law to protect vulnerable residents, including by creating our office’s civil rights practice.” 

The Chief Deputy Attorney General, the second-in-command role at OAG, manages the day-to-day operations of the agency, including by supervising the office’s operations and the work of the office’s nine legal divisions. As Senior Counsel, Mr. Swaruup advised the Attorney General and the Chief Deputy Attorney General on a range of legal and operational matters. Before joining the Attorney General’s senior leadership team, Mr. Swaruup established the office’s civil rights practice as its first attorney charged with investigating and prosecuting cases under the District’s Human Rights Act. 

Mr. Swaruup previously served as an appellate attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division. There, he briefed and argued civil rights cases in federal courts of appeals across the country. In a precedent-setting appeal, Mr. Swaruup successfully defended the constitutionality of the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. Mr. Swaruup also worked on voting rights, police accountability, and desegregation cases. Before joining DOJ, Mr. Swaruup worked in private practice. 

Mr. Swaruup graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable Lucy H. Koh on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  

Mr. Swaruup, a resident of Ward 1, was recommended by the Judicial Nomination Commission for a vacancy on the D.C. Court of Appeals—the District’s highest court. He will serve as AG Racine’s third Chief Deputy, following Mr. Downs and Natalie O. Ludaway, who helped lead OAG for more than five years.