Jacqueline Romero's journey to trailblazing US District Attorney

ByWendy Daughenbaugh via WPVI logo
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 3:36PM
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We meet the first woman to hold the office of United States District Attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania and find out how her groundbreaking journey started with an immigrant story.

Jacqueline Romero comes to the job of US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with a list of priorities. She wants to stem the soaring scourge of gun violence, curb fentanyl trafficking and crack down on domestic terrorism.

Romero spent 16 years as an assistant U.S. attorney, specializing in civil rights litigation.

This summer the office she now leads announced a $20 million settlement with Trident Mortgage Company, accused of illegal lending practices that discriminated against communities of color. It was a case Romero worked.

Her journey has, in many ways, been influenced by her grandfather. He was a fisherman from Spain who came to America by boat, all alone at the age of 16.

He opened a bodega-turned-diner in Tenafly, N.J., and it was there that Jacqueline, the youngest of five children, was exposed to a cross section of society.

She says she most enjoyed listening to the lawyers who lunched there.

By the age of 5, she'd announced her dream of becoming a judge. She was the first in her family to go to college, and the wall of previous U.S. attorneys in her office hints at just how historic her appointment is.

Romero is the first woman to be appointed to the position, the first to even be nominated. She's also the first member of the LGBTQ community to hold the job.

She now oversees an office with a $25 million budget. One of her first decisions was to establish an executive US Attorney for community engagement to work on creating partnerships geared at crime prevention.

Growing up in an immigrant family with little means, Romero says she sees mentorship as an obligation and she hopes young women, particularly Latinas, will look at her and see their own possibilities.

Jacqueline Romero: US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania | Twitter

615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106

215-861-8200