The Lead

Shapiro names top deputy Michelle Henry to finish his term in the attorney general’s office

By: - January 20, 2023 3:21 pm

Gov. Josh Shapiro nominated Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry to complete his term as attorney general. (contributed photo)

Gov. Josh Shapiro has tapped a veteran prosecutor who served as his first deputy in the attorney general’s office to complete his term as Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement official.

Michelle Henry joined the attorney general’s office when Shapiro took office in 2017 and served as acting attorney general since Shapiro stepped down to transition to the governor’s office. Henry will serve as attorney general until the end of 2024, Shapiro’s office said Thursday.

In a statement, Shapiro said Henry’s decades of experience make her ready to lead the attorney general’s office on day one.

“As an experienced prosecutor and a talented leader, Michelle has spent decades in public service pursuing justice for victims, protecting consumers’ rights, and fighting for people in every corner of Pennsylvania. I have complete confidence in her ability to represent the Commonwealth, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the people of Pennsylvania can be safe and feel safe in their communities,” Shapiro said.

Henry praised Shapiro’s work as attorney general to restore the office’s institutional integrity following the scandalous tenure of his predecessor, former Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

“I am humbled by the trust Governor Shapiro has placed in me and Pennsylvanians should expect the Office of Attorney General to stay strong, be bold, and continue to do groundbreaking work on their behalf under my stewardship,” Henry said. 

“Public service is what drives the dedicated employees of this office to work hard and stand up for the kids, consumers, and victims of crime when they need a fighter on their side. As Attorney General, I will be dedicated to making sure this work continues nonstop and that this office will always have Pennsylvanian’s [sic] backs,” Henry said.

Prior to her role in the attorney general’s office, Henry was an assistant district attorney in Bucks County, where she served chief of the office’s major crimes and child abuse units. She was instrumental in creating the county’s children’s advocacy center, where children who have suffered abuse can be interviewed in a more comforting setting than a police station.

As Bucks County’s first assistant district attorney, Henry also assisted Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele in Kane’s prosecution.

Kane was convicted in 2016 of perjury, obstruction of justice and related offenses stemming from her leak of secret grand jury material in an effort to discredit a political rival.

Raised in Westmoreland County, Henry is a graduate of Allegheny College and earned her law degree from Widener University law school. After serving as a judge’s law clerk in Lancaster County, Henry joined the Bucks County District Attorney’s office in 1998.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Peter Hall
Peter Hall

Peter Hall has been a journalist in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for more than 20 years, most recently covering criminal justice and legal affairs for The Morning Call in Allentown. His career at local newspapers and legal business publications has taken him from school board meetings to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and many points of interest between. He earned a degree in journalism from Susquehanna University.