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About the Special Master

Rupa Bhattacharyya

Rupa Bhattacharyya has a distinguished career in public service. In July 2016, she was appointed by the Attorney General to serve as the Special Master for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which is administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and was created by Congress to compensate those who suffered personal injuries or died as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the rescue, recovery, and debris removal efforts undertaken in the aftermath of the attacks. In 2019, Rupa was awarded the DOJ Civil Division’s Michael F. Hertz Memorial Award for Exceptional Professionalism & Outstanding Performance, and in 2020 she was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Rupa joined the Department of Justice in 1996 through the Attorney General’s Honors Program as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division. As a Civil Division litigator, she defended government entities ranging from the Departments of State, Defense, and the Treasury, to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission, as well as individual government employees sued in their individual capacities. She was awarded the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Trial Litigation, as well as three Special Commendations from the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division for Outstanding Service. In August 2008, Rupa accepted a Senior Executive Service position as the Deputy Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs at the Department of the Treasury. In that capacity, Rupa supervised a team of attorneys handling legal activities relating to a broad range of international economic, financial, and regulatory matters, and in 2012, she received an Exceptional Service Award from the Secretary of the Treasury.

In April 2012, Rupa returned to DOJ as a Director in the Torts Branch, with oversight over the Office of Constitutional and Specialized Tort Litigation. In that capacity, she managed two compensation programs – the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Program – and the Constitutional Torts staff.

Prior to her legal professional career, Rupa served as a law clerk for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons, then of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and now of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Rupa graduated from Harvard Law School and has a Master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her undergraduate degree is from Tulane University in her hometown of New Orleans.