Getting to Know W. Anders Folk ‘96, Beta Chi Pike, U.S. Marine, U.S. Attorney, Father and Husband, Community Volunteer

Minnesota native Anders Folk’s (Minnesota, Beta Chi ‘96) life and work might define the word achievement:  “a result gained by effort; something accomplished, especially by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed.”

After graduating from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa member and a Presidential Scholar, Folk went straight into the University’s law school.  Folk joined the Marine Corps while in law school and received his commission after graduating Officer Candidate School following his second year of law school.  Once in the Marine Corps, Folk served as a judge advocate, both prosecuting and defending Marines and Sailors in Courts Martial (military trials).

After completing his time on active duty, Folk was hired as a federal prosecutor (Assistant U.S. Attorney) in Minnesota. “I was lucky enough to investigate and try cases involving all sorts of interesting subjects, including fraud, national security, organized crime, and many others.  I traveled internationally in counter-terrorism investigations and prosecutions and got to do a lot of really exciting work as a young lawyer,” Folk said.

A determined Anders Folk, then the Acting U.S. Attorney in Minnesota, walked to address the media regarding a defendant sentenced to 53 years in federal prison for masterminding the fire-bombing of a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota.

In 2011, Folk then entered private practice as a partner at Stinson LLP, a national law firm with 13 offices and 450 attorneys, focusing on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations and securities litigation.  He led the firm’s class action and securities litigation group before returning to public service at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2018.

Folk was in the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s office during an especially eventful time from 2018-21, and centrally involved in the investigation and federal prosecution of the high-profile George Floyd murder case and cases against rioters. “I served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney and Acting U.S. Attorney.  In these roles I led the office’s criminal, civil and administrative divisions and led office’s prosecutions of a number of complex and high-profile cases, including the investigation and indictment of many individuals involved in violence and arsons during riots following George Floyd’s murder and the investigation and indictment of former Minneapolis Police Officers for violating George Floyd’s civil rights,” Folk explains.

Folk’s Department of Justice career continued where he then served as senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, managing a portfolio that focused on crisis management, domestic law enforcement policy, civil rights, and various federal law enforcement components.  In 2022, Folk joined one of the country’s largest law firms at Jones Day (2,400 + lawyers in 40 offices around the globe)  as a partner in its Investigations and White-Collar Group after leaving the Department of Justice.

Folk was president of Beta Chi chapter in 1997 – 98. He enjoyed playing on the Beta Chi intramural hockey team and was honored to be a finalist for the Pi Kappa Alpha Undergraduate of the Year Award. Folk stays in touch with Eric Snustad ’90, Jeff Kroll ’93, Jim Yolch ’93, and Eric Sem ‘19 who served as Beta Chi president in 2020-21 and is a mentee.

“I remember when Anders first rushed Beta Chi in Fall 1996 and I wondered if he was at the right place? He stood out from the crowd for all of the right reasons. He displayed natural leadership abilities, had a genuine curiosity about Greek life, and very diverse set of interests including sports, music, and politics. I knew that our chapter would be better if he decided to join, but I wasn’t not sure if he would personally see the value with being a member. Thankfully, I was wrong, and he never questioned it and quickly became a rising star in our chapter. I’m immensely proud of his contributions to our chapter and for everything he’s already accomplished both professionally and personally,” shared Jim Yolch ‘93.

Folk has given much back to his community and profession, values learned in the Pike Fraternity.  Today he stays engaged as a director and treasurer of the Veterans Defense Project, a non-profit dedicated to restoring veterans involved in the criminal justice system to the communities they served, and he is a law student mentor at the University of St. Thomas Law School. In the recent past he has also held board or chairmanships with Minnesota Orchestra,  Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, International Education Center, and Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government.  Folk has also been a member of the Federal District of Minnesota Federal Magistrate Judge Selection Committee.

Today, Folk and his wife Angela (a Tri-Delta at the University of North Carolina) and their four children – a ten-year-old daughter and eight-year-old triplets (a son and two daughters) — live in Minneapolis about 15 minutes from Beta Chi. Folk says, “I spend most of my free time with my four kids and wife. I enjoy golf, being outdoors, hunting, snowboarding and reading history.”

When asked for advice for today’s collegiate Pikes, Folk responds, “Find your passion and pursue it.  Work hard at school, meet as many people as you can and take advantage of every opportunity you can – personally, professionally, scholastically.  Find ways to serve your community and be useful to those around you.  Don’t be afraid to take chances and to swing for the fences.  Your reputation will be formed by your day-to-day interactions with the people around you at school, at work and socially.  You will own that reputation for the rest of life.”


W. Anders Folk Awards and Recognition

Alumni of Notable Achievement – University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts

Minnesota Super Lawyers – Super Lawyer

Minnesota Super Lawyers – Rising Star

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security

“Forty under Forty” Recipient – Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Justice Award – U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota

Minnesota Attorney of the Year – Minnesota Lawyer Magazine

Younger Federal Lawyer Award – Federal Bar Association, 1 of 5 recipients nationally

Defense Counsel of the Year – West Coast Defense Counsel, U.S. Marine Corps

Awarded Navy Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal during active-duty military service