Mary Daly, William Barr’s Daughter: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Justice Department Mary Daly, Attorney General William Barr's daughter

Mary Katherine Barr Daly, 41, an attorney in the Treasury Department and former Director of Opioid Enforcement at the Justice Department, is the daughter of Attorney General William Barr.

Daly announced that she was leaving her job at the Justice Department the day before her father was sworn in. Her husband, Michael Daly, still works in the National Security Division of the Justice Department.

Here’s what you need to know.


1. Mary Daly Joined the Treasury Department in February of 2019 as a Senior Advisor to the Director

Mary Katherine Barr Daly

Mary Daly is still a new face at the Treasury Department, which is currently led by Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Daly joined the department as a senior advisor to Director Mnuchin in March of 2019.

According to her Linkedin profile, Daly is also involved with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The bureau’s mission is described on the government website as safeguarding “the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.” The mission involves identifying potential sources that finance terrorism.


2. Mary Daly Favored a ‘Tough Prosecutions’ Approach to Battle the Opioid Crisis While Serving as the Director of Opioid Enforcement at the Justice Department

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Mary Daly served as the Director of Opioid Enforcement and Prevention Efforts in the Justice Department for one year, beginning in February of 2018. The position was created in December of 2017.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised Daly in a news release announcing her hiring. “In the midst of the deadliest drug crisis in American history, we need to prosecute drug crimes aggressively and use our resources wisely. That’s why today I am happy to announce that Mary Daly will help the Department of Justice coordinate our anti-opioid efforts. Mary is a talented and experienced prosecutor and she will help us act as effectively as possible in this time of crisis.”

Daly echoed the “aggressive” stance upon taking the job. She advocated for strict policies to curb the opioid crisis. CBS News reported that Daly supported Sessions’ decision to reverse a policy by the Obama administration that cut or reduced sentences for non-violent, lower-level drug offenders. Daly told CBS in April of 2018, “We need to use tough prosecutions if we are going to get our way out of this epidemic. We don’t ignore the need for prevention and treatment efforts, but the notion that tough enforcement is the wrong approach is wrong.”


3. Mary Daly Left Her Job at the Justice Department When Her Father Became Attorney General, But She Was Not Legally Required To Do So

Mary Daly could have remained at the Justice Department with her father at the helm. There was no legal requirement for her to step down after William Barr was sworn in as Attorney General.

Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, told CNN that Daly’s decision, however, had been smart. He said it was a good idea to “avoid the bad optics that could come from the appearance of them working for him.”

Daly’s husband. Michael Daly, works in the National Security Division of the Justice Department. Her brother-in-law, Tyler McGaughey, was offered a job on the White House legal team in February, when he also left the Justice Department.


4. Daly Served as the Chief of the Narcotics Unit as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia

Mary Katherine Barr Daly

Mary Daly spent nearly a decade prosecuting drug crimes at the Eastern District of Virginia. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from October of 2008 until February of 2018, when she was offered the position at the Justice Department.

According to her Linkedin profile, Daly was named the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit in late 2011. She was promoted to Chief of the Narcotics Unit in April of 2016. Prior to joining the Washington, D.C. office, Daly spent four years as a prosecutor at the Eastern District of New York.

During her 13 years as a prosecutor, Daly focused on “transnational drug trafficking organizations,” according to a Justice Department news release. She spoke with NPR about the opioid crisis in April of 2018. “As a prosecutor, you interact with people who are addicted, and it’s startling for me to see the grip that this addiction had on people. I’ve been a drug prosecutor for 13 years, and I have to tell you I’ve never seen anything like this.”


5. Mary Daly Earned Her Law Degree From Fordham University & Married a Fellow Attorney

Mary Barr graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2000. It’s possible she met her future husband while in school. According to the wedding announcement in the New York Times, Michael Daly, who is two years older than his wife, also attended William and Mary.

Daly earned her law degree from the Fordham University School of Law.

She and her husband tied the knot on May 12, 2007, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. She was working at the Eastern District of New York at the time, while her husband was a litigation associate with Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw.

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