Hilary Axam has served as Acting Director of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division since 2009. She has been a prosecutor with the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division since 2001, and a Special Litigation Counsel in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit since its inception in 2007.
She has prosecuted and supervised some of the most significant human trafficking cases in the United States, involving both forced labor and sex trafficking. In 2006, she and the team from United States v. Carreto received the Executive Office of United States Attorneys' Director's Award for securing fifty- year sentences against members of a notorious international sex trafficking ring that forced young Mexican women into prostitution. She has trained prosecutors, federal agents, law enforcement officers, non-governmental organizations, and international delegations on human trafficking laws and investigative and prosecutorial strategies, and has been recognized as one of the Department of Justice's leading experts on human trafficking.
Before coming to the Department, Ms. Axam worked internationally as counsel to the Judiciary of the Republic of Palau, and as a Fulbright Fellow at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies in Johannesburg, South Africa.