President Joe Biden is furthering his efforts to increase representation at the highest levels within the criminal justice system. He recently announced eight new nominees to serve as U.S. Attorneys throughout the country; two of whom are Black New York City leaders who are power players in the realm of law.
Amongst the list of nominees is Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Breon S. Peace. Peace—a University of California, Berkeley alum who earned his J.D. from the New York University School of Law—has dedicated his entire career to civil litigation, white-collar defense and matters concerning regulatory enforcement. From the courtroom to the lecture hall, he has served in roles in which he has contributed to shaping the landscape of litigation. Between the years of 2000 and 2002, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. In 2002, he became an Acting Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law.
Another individual who received a nomination was Damian Williams who has served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for nine years. The Brooklyn-bred Jamaican attorney—who holds degrees from the University of Cambridge, Harvard University and Yale Law School—has held the role of the office’s Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force since 2018.
White House officials say the nominees will be instrumental in shaping the future of criminal justice within the United States. “These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” read a statement from the White House. “The President has launched a comprehensive effort to take on the uptick in gun crime that has been taking place for the last 18 months—putting more cops on the beat, supporting community prevention programs, and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. Confirming U.S. Attorneys as the chief federal law enforcement officers in their district is important for these efforts.”
News about the nominations comes months after President Biden unveiled his first list of federal judge nominees which included four Black women.