Katherine Nielsen joined the Justice Department’s criminal division fraud section as a trial attorney on 18 April 2016. She is one of 10 new prosecutors that criminal division chief Leslie Caldwell announced in November 2015 would be hired for the section’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit.
Nielsen earned her bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, studying abroad in Munich, Germany. She began her career in the US air force in 1993, serving for nearly four years.
After leaving the air force, Nielsen earned her law degree from the University of New Mexico before joining Silva Rieder & Maestas in Albuquerque as an associate in 2001. Departing from the firm in 2002, she clerked for Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harris Hartz and for District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Judge Mark E Fuller.
Moving back into private practice, in 2004, Nielsen moved to Washington, DC, to work as an associate for Morgan Lewis & Bockius. In 2007, she took a position at MGM in Los Angeles, as a legal consultant. There, she stayed for three years.
Nielsen has spent several years working for the government, after joining the Justice Department in 2012 as an assistant US attorney in Texas before moving to Washington, DC, in July 2015 to work as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission.