Gurbir S. Grewal was nominated as the first Sikh American Attorney General of New Jersey, Dec. 12. (Courtesy:

A prominent Sikh-American lawyer, who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand, has been nominated to serve as the next Attorney General of New Jersey, writes Lalit K. Jha.

Gurbir S. Grewal, a public prosecutor who previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York and New Jersey, was named by New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy, Dec. 12.

With this nomination, Grewal is set to become the first Sikh American State Attorney General in the United States.

Grewal said that he decided to pursue public service to give back to a country that has given him and other immigrant families so much.

“I wanted to perhaps also show people that while I and others like me may look different or worship differently that we too are committed to this country.

“As someone who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand throughout my life, I wanted to work to ensure that we all live in a fair and just society,” Grewal said after the announcement, reported.

The move has been welcomed by the South Asian Bar Association (SABA).

Grewal, who has spent most of his legal career in public service, is currently the Bergen County prosecutor. Working for a most populous county in New Jersey, Grewal serves a community of almost one million with his staff of 265.

He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both New York (2004-2007) and New Jersey (2010-2016). He ended his tenure there as Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit where he was lead prosecutor for the largest known data breach prosecution.

Grewal obtained his law degree from the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law in 1999.

“The decision to appoint a visible minority as the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey reflects the diversity of the state and of the U.S., and is especially important in a time where minorities and immigrants have often felt targeted by law enforcement,” said SABA president Rishi Bagga.

“We really applaud his accomplishments and are extremely proud to see him be chosen for this honour,” said SABA New Jersey president Bhaveen Jani.

Grewal is a past president of SABA New York and a member of the New Jersey Asian Pacific American lawyers Association.