April 20, 2021

Alum Receives U.S. Attorney General and Embassy Awards for His International Work

Alum Scott Kerin ’96 has recently been acknowledged for his work at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest combatting human trafficking.

Assistant United States Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon, Scott Kerin ’96 has recently been acknowledged for his work at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, prosecuting an international fentanyl distribution ring, advising on the Rule of Law reform efforts in Romania and combatting human trafficking.

Serving a temporary detail in the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Kerin is teaching prosecutors and law enforcement agents in Eastern Europe how to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes and intellectual property crimes.

“Working with the U.S. Ambassador and the Romanian government on criminal justice reform issues, from strengthening anti-human trafficking efforts to helping develop a national task force to combat organized crime, was an amazing and professionally rewarding experience,” Kerin stated.

Kerin was awarded the United States Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in October 2020, the highest award given for employee performance by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), for his work as co-counsel in prosecuting an international fentanyl distribution ring. In announcing the award, the DOJ described the case as the “widest-ranging fentanyl investigation in history” and a “groundbreaking achievement in the U.S. Department of Justice’s fight against the opioid epidemic and the distribution of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.”

In December 2020, the former U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Adrian Zuckerman, honored Kerin with the U.S. State Department Achievement Award for his contributions to the mission of the U.S. Embassy. The Ambassador thanked Kerin for being “the architect, advisor, and leader of our criminal justice and Rule of Law reform efforts in Romania” and for having “done more to advance the bilateral relationship between Romania and the United States within the past year than any other employee within the U.S. Embassy.”

Ambassador Zuckerman honored Kerin again January 2021, with the U.S. Embassy’s Achievement Award for his work in helping broker agreements between the Romanian Government, the City of Bucharest, and the Romanian Orthodox Church to cooperate in combatting human trafficking. This was the first time in their history that the three entities signed agreements to actively work together to prevent human trafficking, expand the care for victims, and increase the funding for victim shelters.

During the signing ceremony, the President of Romania referred to the agreements as “landmark actions” that bolstered the “overall efforts of Romania to consolidate a resilient democracy, build upon the Rule of Law, and demonstrate the respect for human rights.”

The U.S. Ambassador also praised the agreements as “a positive, historic, and monumental achievement in the fight against human trafficking within Romania” and then thanked Kerin for doing “a great job… in getting these agreements resolved,” noting that “this would not have happened without you.”

“Through his steadfast diplomatic skills and tireless work ethic Scott answered my call to action and, despite all the challenges, brokered and achieved the signing of these historic cooperation

Agreements,” Ambassador Zuckerman stated. “These landmark agreements mark a new chapter in Romania’s fight against human trafficking and bolster the overall efforts of Romania to consolidate a resilient democracy, build upon the Rule of Law, and demonstrate their respect for human rights.”

As part of his duties in Romania, Kerin also supervised eight law students from around the United States who worked as virtual interns in the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. The students worked on a variety of topics involving environmental crimes, intellectual property, human trafficking, cybercrime, organized crime, and anti-corruption issues. “Some of their work involving human trafficking is currently being used to explore additional ways to help the victims of the crime in Romania,” Kerin stated.