Moldova’s Anti-Corruption Chief, Veronica Dragalin, Awarded 2023 Robert Tucker Prize for Prosecutorial Excellence

Veronica Dragalin, head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in the Republic of Moldova, was awarded the 2023 Robert Tucker Prize for Excellence in Prosecution. The news was announced on Thursday, March 23, through a Facebook post by the prosecutor’s mother, Elena Dragalin, also known to the public as the President of the “Moldova AID” Association in the USA.

“Moments of pride. The 2023 Robert S. Tucker Prize for Excellence in Prosecution is awarded to Veronica Dragalin, head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in the Republic of Moldova. ‘Criminal prosecution does not mean sentences and sending people to jail, criminal prosecution means justice is done’ – from one of her speeches,” Elena Dragalin wrote, attaching a series of photos.

The Robert S. Tucker Prize for Excellence in Prosecution is awarded annually to an individual or group of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of criminal prosecution and who demonstrate excellence in the practice of prosecutors. The laureates are selected each year by a jury composed of former prosecutors and members of the faculty at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law. The awards ceremony brings together deputy prosecutors from across the region and state, civic leaders, members of the judiciary, the New York City government, and the Haub Law community to recognize these distinguished individuals for their work. The prize is made possible through the generous support of Haub Law graduate and member of the Pace University Board of Trustees, Robert S. Tucker.

“Veronica has had an impressive career, demonstrating her commitment to pursuing justice, both as an accomplished assistant US attorney and now in a challenging and historic role as head of the Anti-Corruption department for Moldova,” said Dean Horace E. Anderson Jr. “She took on this role at a particularly volatile moment in the region and made history as the first woman in this position. Her tenacity in leaving a successful position in the US to lead the fight against corruption in her homeland is truly admirable.”


Previous recipients of the award include Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, former New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, and the late Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

“Veronica is already making an impact in her new role in a short period of time. According to the 2022 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published in January 2023, Moldova’s score increased by three points, one of the most significant improvements recorded, placing it at 91 out of 180 countries in the CPI. The CPI annually ranks countries ‘by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.’ Veronica’s remarkable career is a reflection of the values and commitment to criminal prosecution that we seek to recognize through this prize,” said Robert S. Tucker, President, and CEO of T&M.

After working as a civil litigator and international criminal investigator, in 2011, Dragalin joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division. During her time there, she prosecuted numerous complex criminal cases, including international money laundering, cybercrime, and securities fraud.

In 2022, Dragalin returned to her native Moldova to take on the role of Chief of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. Since assuming this position, she has been instrumental in cracking down on corruption in the country, earning her widespread recognition and respect.

The Robert S. Tucker Prize is just the latest accolade to be bestowed upon Dragalin for her exceptional work in the field of criminal justice. Her dedication and commitment to justice have made her a role model for aspiring prosecutors around the world, and her legacy will continue to inspire generations of legal professionals for years to come.

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