Jesse Panuccio

Jesse Michael Panuccio (born November 1, 1980) is an American attorney and government official. He served as the acting United States Associate Attorney General in 2017 and again from February 2018 to May 2019.[1][2][3] He previously served as general counsel to Governor Rick Scott of Florida and as the executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.[4][5][6]

Jesse Panuccio
Jesse Panuccio official photo.jpg
Acting United States Associate Attorney General
In office
February 21, 2018 – May 3, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byRachel Brand
Succeeded byClaire McCusker Murray (acting)
In office
February 2017 – May 22, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byWilliam Baer (acting)
Succeeded byRachel Brand
Personal details
Jesse Michael Panuccio

(1980-11-01) November 1, 1980 (age 40)
New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationDuke University (BA)
Harvard Law School (JD)


Panuccio received a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University,[7][8] and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 2006.[5][9]

Legal careerEdit

Panuccio is a member of the Florida and District of Columbia bars.[10] Panuccio served as a law clerk to Judge Michael W. McConnell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.[10]

Panuccio then practiced law with the Washington D.C.-based law firm Cooper & Kirk PLLC.

Florida government serviceEdit

Panuccio's Florida government headshot

Panuccio joined the administration of Governor Rick Scott as deputy general counsel in January 2011 after a law school friend working on Scott's campaign suggested that Panuccio should join Scott's transition team.[5] In 2012, Governor Scott appointed Panuccio general counsel to the governor.[5] In those roles, Panuccio represented the governor and the state in several significant legal challenges, including challenges to drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients[11][12][5] as well as a required state-worker pension contribution.[5] He also advised the governor on judicial appointments and served as chief ethics officer for the Executive Office of the Governor.[13]

In January 2013, Scott appointed Panuccio executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.[5][14] At the time, Panuccio was 32 years old[5] and was the youngest agency head in Florida government.[15] During his tenure, Panuccio wrote an op-ed in the Miami Herald about the departments efforts to combat fraud in the unemployment insurance program,[16] and an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal opposing the U.S. Department of Labor's proposed changes to its overtime rules.[17] In December 2015, Panuccio announced his resignation, effective January 8, 2016.[14]

On January 25, 2016, Governor Scott appointed Panuccio to the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.[18]

Department of Justice serviceEdit

In January 2017, Panuccio was named acting Associate Attorney General of the United States.[2] Panuccio's former boss and mentor, Chuck Cooper of Cooper & Kirk, was advising Senator Jeff Sessions on staffing President-elect Donald Trump's transition team and recommended Panuccio for the position.[19] The Associate Attorney General is the third highest ranking official at the U.S. Department of Justice, and oversees virtually all non-criminal matters.[2] After newly-confirmed Attorney General William Barr took office, he resigned from office and was succeeded by former White House official Claire McCusker Murray.[20][3][21]


  1. ^ "Former Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio". United States Department of Justice.
  2. ^ a b c "For now, Jesse Panuccio is the highest ranking Floridian in Trump's administration". Tampa Bay Times.
  3. ^ a b April 29, Ryan Lovelace |; PM, 2019 at 04:37. "DOJ's Acting No. 3 Jesse Panuccio Stepping Down, Shares Advice for His Replacement". National Law Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  4. ^ "Governor Rick Scott Announces New DEO Executive Director and EOG General Counsel". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Toluse Olorunnipa, Free-market conservative leads Gov. Rick Scott's jobs agency, Miami Herald (January 27, 2013).
  6. ^ "For now, Jesse Panuccio is the highest ranking Floridian in Trump's administration". Tampa Bay Times.
  7. ^ Jeff Harrington, Q&A with Jesse Panuccio, Gov. Rick Scott's point person for creating jobs, Tampa Bay Times (October 24, 2014).
  8. ^ Margie Menzel, Five Questions for Jesse Panuccio, News Service of Florida (March 31, 2014).
  9. ^ Aaron Deslatte, New agency chief promises more oversight of economic-development money, Orlando Sentinel (February 25, 2013).
  10. ^ a b "Governor Scott Names Additional Staff in the EOG". January 14, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Appeals court weighs Florida welfare drug test law". November 2, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "Federal judge raises questions about Florida's random drug-testing policy". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  13. ^ "Gov. Rick Scott: We Appreciate Jesse Panuccio's Five Years of Service to Florida". Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Michael Auslen & Jeremy Wallace, Jesse Panuccio, Gov. Rick Scott's jobs chief, resigns as agency head, Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau (December 4, 2015).
  15. ^ "Department of Economic Opportunity: New agency chief promises more oversight of economic-development money". Orlando Sentinel. March 25, 2016.
  16. ^ "Fund Florida's fight against fraud". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  17. ^ Panuccio, Jesse. "The Real Cost of Obama's Overtime Mandate". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Governor Rick Scott Appoints Forty-Three to Judicial Nominating Commissions". Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Meet the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General". May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  21. ^ Barber, C. Ryan. "Barr Eyes Ex-White House Lawyer for Top Justice Department Post". National Law Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2019.

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Baer
United States Associate Attorney General

Succeeded by
Rachel Brand
Preceded by
Rachel Brand
United States Associate Attorney General

Succeeded by
Claire McCusker Murray